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Acta Virol. 2007;51(4):283-7.

Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 serum antibodies in general human population.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Virology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.


Previous studies using ELISA and virus neutralization test (VNT) have proved the presence of Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) serum antibodies in sera of laboratory staff working with MHV-68, as well as in the general population. In this study, we investigated the incidence of serum antibodies to MHV-68 and to human herpesviruses presumably antigenically similar to MHV-68, as Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), in general population using ELISA, VNT, and immunofluorescence assay (IFA). We also searched for the possible detection of false-positive reaction of MHV-68 antibodies due to cross-reactions between MHV-68 and the antibodies to the herpesviruses mentioned above. We found 16% of positive sera for MHV-68 antibodies by ELISA (titers of 1,600-102,400) and 4.5% by VNT and IFA (titers of 8-32). Tested human sera, either positive or negative for MHV-68 antibodies, were positive for antibodies to HSV-1, HCMV, and EBV (71/69%, 69/65%, and 66/49%, respectively). We concluded that the false-positivity of the sera for MHV-68 antibodies detected by ELISA was due to the nonspecific cross-reactions with antibodies to antigenically similar EBV.

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