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Ann Epidemiol. 2012 Nov;22(11):783-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.06.099. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Seroepidemiology of Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus among Israeli male young adults.

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Medical Corps, Israeli Defence Force, Israel.



To assess the seroprevalence and seroconversion of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and identify associated socioeconomic and smoking variables among male young adults in Israel, to explore health disparities and aid prevention efforts.


A population-based seroprevalence study of EBV and CMV IgG antibodies in a systematic sample of Israeli males upon recruitment to mandatory military service during 1994-2004. Associations between socioeconomic and smoking variables and the seroprevalence of EBV/CMV were evaluated, controlling for possible confounders. A subset of seronegative subjects was assessed for seroconversion upon discharge from military service.


Overall seroprevalence rates were 87% for EBV and 59% for CMV. An association between the seroprevalence of EBV and CMV was observed. Seroconversion was 56% for EBV as compared with 31% for CMV. Lower paternal education was found to be associated with both EBV and CMV seroprevalence. Lower socioeconomic status, North African origin, and urban residence were found to be associated with CMV seropositivity, as was smoking for EBV seropositivity.


Socioeconomic disparities exist in the seroprevalence rates of CMV and EBV among Israeli male young adults. The results of the study could aid public health efforts and determine target populations when a vaccine becomes available.

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