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An epidemiologic study of herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 infection in Japan based on type-specific serological assays

  • M. HASHIDO (a1), F. K. LEE (a2), A. J. NAHMIAS (a2), H. TSUGAMI (a3), S. ISOMURA (a4), Y. NAGATA (a5), S. SONODA (a6) and T. KAWANA (a7)
  • Published online: 01 March 1998

A seroepidemiologic study of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2) was performed on Japanese adults. Serum samples collected between 1985–9 from a total of 536 healthy adults, female prostitutes, males with sexually transmitted diseases (STD), homosexual men, and pregnant women were studied by immunodot assays using HSV type-specific antigens, glycoproteins G (gG1 and gG2). HSV-1 infections correlated mostly with age and was widely prevalent among subjects <40 years. HSV-2 prevalence varied greatly among subgroups defined by sexual activity and was associated with risk behaviours for prostitution, infection with STD, and homosexual activity. HSV-2 seroprevalence was highest among prostitutes (80%), lowest among pregnant women (7 %), and intermediate in STD patients (23%) and homosexuals (24%). Because HSV-1 infection during childhood has been decreasing, primary genital HSV-2 infection, with its higher frequency of clinical manifestations, will become a greater burden to the public health in Japan.

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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