Journal of Medical Virology, June 2000, Vol.61(2), pp.201-207
This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of antibodies to herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV‐1) and 2 (HSV‐2) in selected German populations, such as blood donors, hospital patients, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)‐seropositive individuals. Serum samples collected between 1996 and 1998 were tested by enzyme immunoassays using monoclonal antibody‐selected native gG1 and gG2 as antigens and an immunoblot using type‐specific recombinant glycoproteins. Equivocal results were resolved by an “in‐house” Western blot assay. The prevalence of HSV‐1 antibodies increased steadily with age and reached high levels of ≥88% among subjects 40 years of age or older. In the sample of patients and blood donors, the HSV‐2 seroprevalence was 12.8% (95% CI = 11.9–13.8%). About 81% of the HSV‐2 seropositive subjects were coinfected with HSV‐1. When adjusted for age, there was no difference in the HSV‐2 seroprevalence between hospital patients and blood donors. The HSV‐2 seroprevalence was significantly higher among women (15%) than among men (10.5%), yielding a female : male odds ratio of 1.5 for hospital patients and of 1.67 for blood donors. Among the HIV‐infected population, 91.1% were seropositive for HSV‐1 and 47.9% for HSV‐2. HIV‐infected women have a significantly higher risk of HSV‐2 infection than men (odds ratio [OR] = 3.22; 95% confidence ratio [CI] 1.99–5.20). In conclusion, although the rate of infections with HSV‐2 is relatively low in the German population, attention should be given to the further development in adolescents, especially in view of a possible decrease of HSV‐1 seroprevalence in childhood. J. Med. Virol. 61:201–207, 2000. © 2000 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
Epidemiology ; Sexually Transmitted Disease ; Type‐Specific Antibodies ; Hiv ; Hsv