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Epidemiology of herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 in Italy: a seroprevalence study from 2000 to 2014.

Marchi, S; Trombetta, C M; Gasparini, R; Temperton, N; Montomoli, E.
J Prev Med Hyg ; 58(1): E27-E33, 2017 Mar.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28515628
Herpes simplex viruses (HSV) are among the most widespread causative agents of human viral infections. HSV-2 is one of the commonest causes of genital disease, while HSV-1 is associated primarily with orolabial ulceration; however, recent changes in HSV epidemiology showed an increase in genital and neonatal herpes particularly caused by HSV-1. The main purpose of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in a random population in Siena (central Italy) in 2000, 2005 and 2013-2014 and in Bari (southern Italy) in 2005. Moreover, a preliminary study was conducted to investigate the spread of HSV infection in a population of pregnant women and infants in Bari in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Human serum samples were tested for the presence of specific anti-HSV-1 and anti-HSV-2 IgG antibodies using a commercially available ELISA test. For the primary purpose, seroprevalence rates observed in Siena were compared over the years sampled and with the seroprevalence rate found in Bari. Results of seroprevalence in Siena show a decreased trend for both viruses, especially in adolescents and young adults; moreover, HSV-2 seroprevalence rates found in the two cities suggest geographical differences. For the secondary purpose, prevalence rates among pregnant women were compared with the seroprevalence found in women of the general population. No significant difference in prevalence rates were found among pregnant women, while results indicate both viruses are a source of infection in infants.