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Epstein-Barr virus antibodies in children with atopic disease.


The prevalence and titers of antibodies to human herpetoviruses as well as rubella and mumps viruses were determined in 98 children with atopic diseases and in 55 nonatopic control children. The only significant difference between the two groups was found as regards Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibodies, which were found in higher titers in atopic children of all ages. Increased levels of EBV antibodies were found both in children with asthma and atopic dermatitis. The frequency of seropositivity for EBV was slightly higher in atopics than in controls in all age-groups, but the differences observed were not statistically significant. The possibility that EBV, which is a B-cell mitogen, has a pathogenic role in the hyperproduction of IgE and development of atopic disease, should be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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