Lost Immune Markers for Major Affective Disorders: Could They Help Screen Airline Pilots?


In the 1980s it was discovered that quantitative IgG titers for antibodies directed against the hu-man-obligate DNA viruses were reliably and reproducibly correlated negatively with mood in in-dividuals with major affective disorders. This knowledge was lost to confirmation bias and uncontrolled studies that only looked at Epstein-Barr virus antibodies. The latter led to a long American fad of misdiagnosing major affective disorders as a “chronic Epstein-Barr virus syndrome.” This misdiagnosis even became part of the American popular culture during the 1980s. In light of fatal airline crashes intentionally caused by pilots, the antiviral IgG titers should be revisited as a means of screening pilots for current dysphoria or mania/hypomania due to major affective disorders.

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Allen, A. (2015) Lost Immune Markers for Major Affective Disorders: Could They Help Screen Airline Pilots?. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 6, 285-288. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2015.64036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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