An epidemiologic study of herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 infection in Japan based on type-specific serological assays
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.(Accepted November 4 1997)
c1 Author for correspondence.
1 ‘Infectious Diseases Surveillance Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases’ is the former ‘Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Health’, Tokyo, Japan. (Changed on April 1, 1997).