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Saudi Med J. 2000 Apr;21(4):355-60.

Frequency of herpes simplex virus in Syria based on type-specific serological assay.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Damascus, Damascus, Syria.



This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 antibodies in Syrian populations. Serum samples collected between 1995-1998 from a total of 1293 healthy persons, neonates, pregnant women, labial herpes patients, kidney transplantation patients, atherosclerosis patients, cervical cancer patients, patients with suspected herpetic keratitis, viral encephalitis patients, patients with sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS patients, female prostitutes and bar girls.


Serum samples were studied by enzyme immunosorbent assay using herpes simplex virus type-specific antigen, glycoprotein (gG).


In the healthy group, herpes simplex virus type 1 infections correlated mostly with age and was prevalent among subjects >30 years (approximately 95% of persons in our country have herpes simplex virus type 1 antibodies by 30 years of age), while they varied moderately among other groups. Herpes simplex virus type 2 prevalence varied greatly among the groups defined by sexual activity and was associated with risk behavior for prostitution. Herpes simplex virus type 2 seroprevalence was highest among prostitutes (34%) and bar girls (20%); lowest in healthy persons (0.15%); and intermediate in sexually transmitted disease patients (9.5%), cervical cancer patients (8%) and AIDS patients (4%).


It can be concluded that infection of herpes simplex virus type 2 is very rare in persons in our country.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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