Infections due to the human herpes-viruses in southern India: a seroepidemiological survey

Venkitaraman, Ashok R. ; Seigneurin, Jean-Marie ; Lenoir, Gilbert M. ; Jacob John, T. (1986) Infections due to the human herpes-viruses in southern India: a seroepidemiological survey International Journal of Epidemiology, 15 (4). pp. 561-566. ISSN 0300-5771

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We studied the prevalence of lgG and IgM antibodies to the human herpesviruses in a hospital-based population of 181 individuals aged 0 to 25 years, who were resident in Vellore, south India or surrounding rural areas. Antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) viral capsid antigen were determined by indirect immunofluorescence, while antibodies to the remaining herpesviruses were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The age-specific prevalence rates of IgG antibodies to EBV and cytomegalovirus (CMV) rose rapidly after birth to reach a value of over 90% by the fourth year of life. High age-specific IgM prevalence rates and geometric mean titres (GMT) of IgG antibody in children 6 months to 2 years of age, and the early median age of virus infection (1.4 years for EBV and <1 year for CMV) indicate that primary infection with these viruses occurs early in life. In contrast, age-specific prevalence rates of IgG antibodies to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) rose gradually after birth to attain maximal values of only 72% (VZV) and 83% (HSV) in the 15-25 year age group, and the median ages of infection were delayed (12.25 years for VZV and 8.2 years for HSV). The age-specific IgG prevalence rates of VZV and HSV, and of EBV and HSV showed statistically significant positive correlations, suggesting that common epidemiological factors may underlie the pattern of infections due to these groups of viruses. The results of this study provide baseline information on the epidemiology of human herpesvirus infections in a tropical developing country and indicate that they are common and likely to be important causes of morbidity over a wide range of ages. The clinical correlates and importance of these infections in age groups at high risk require further investigation in developing countries.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Oxford University Press.
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Deposited On:20 Dec 2010 08:08
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