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Microbiol Immunol. 1997;41(4):309-12.

Breast milk is not a significant source for early Epstein-Barr virus or human herpesvirus 6 infection in infants: a seroepidemiologic study in 2 endemic areas of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I in Japan.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan.

Abstract

In order to evaluate the possibility of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) transmission via breast milk, a total of 331 serum specimens collected from bottle-fed and breast-fed children and their mothers, in 2 endemic areas of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) in Japan, were assayed for antibodies to EBV and HHV-6. The seroprevalences of EBV and HHV-6 were over 95% both in the mothers of bottle-fed children and in those of breast-fed children. The seroprevalence of EBV at 12-23 months of age was 54.5% (36/66) and 55.8% (24/43) in breast-fed children and bottle-fed children, respectively. The seroprevalence of HHV-6 at 12-23 months of age was 90.9% (60/66) and 93.0% (40/43) in breast-fed children and bottle-fed children, respectively. No difference was observed between the seroprevalences of EBV and HHV-6 in breast-fed and bottle-fed children at 12-23 months of age. Our seroepidemiologic data indicate that breast milk is not a significant source of early EBV or HHV-6 infection in infancy.

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