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New Microbiol. 1996 Jan;19(1):1-8.

Prevalence of antibodies to human herpesviruses 6 and 7 in early infancy and age at primary infection.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Modena, Italy.


Sera from a sample of children aged 3 months to 6 years and from cord blood were tested in an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for reactivity to human herpesviruses 6 (HHV-6) and 7 (HHV-7). HHV-6 seropositivity values rose from 19% to 79.3% in the first 18 months of life, while HHV-7 seroprevalence reached a similar value (75.9%) in children aged 3-6 years. These results show that HHV-7, like HHV-6, is a prevalent virus in infancy. In cord blood sera, assayed to study infant humoral situation at birth, similar values for the two viruses (78.9% for HHV-6 and 76.3% for HHV-7) were found. HHV-6 and HHV-7 IgG antibody affinity to the corresponding antigens was assessed by the end point antibody titration in the presence and absence of urea 8M. This test distinguishes antibodies of recent (low affinity) or past (high affinity) production. Together, the data on seroprevalence and antibody affinity suggest that HHV-6 primary infection generally precedes that by HHV-7. These results are discussed in the light of a different pathogenetic role of the two viruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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