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Ann Behav Med. 1997 Spring;19(2):78-82.

Chronic stress modulates the virus-specific immune response to latent herpes simplex virus type 1.

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Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Ohio State University College of Medicine, USA.


We compared 71 family caregivers of dementia sufferers and 58 control subjects on three different immune measures relevant to latent herpes simplex virus Type 1 (HSV-1) infection: neutralizing antibody titers, antibody titers to a total viral antigen, and a proliferative memory T-cell response. Caregivers had significantly higher antibody titers to the total viral antigen and a poorer HSV-1 specific T-cell response than controls, but no significant difference in neutralizing antibody titers between groups was observed. These data provide additional evidence that psychological stress can modulate a virus-specific immune response associated with caregiving.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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