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June 2, 1969

Prevalence of Antibodies to EB Virus and Other Herpesviruses

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Virology and Epidemiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

JAMA. 1969;208(9):1675-1679. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160090035008

Serum samples from 224 children of low socioeconomic status and from 281 children and 120 young adults of high socioeconomic status were evaluated for immunofluorescent antibodies to EB virus and for complement-fixing antibodies to herpes simplex virus and to cytomegalovirus. Regardless of socioeconomic status, approximately 45% of children 7 to 24 months of age were found to have antibody to EB virus, and by 4 to 7 years of age, the percentage of children with antibody approximated that of 73% to 90% found in the adults. Children of a low socioeconomic status had a slightly higher prevalence of EB antibody, and a markedly higher prevalence of herpes simplex antibody, than those of a high socioeconomic status. This study indicates that infection with EB virus occurs much earlier and more commonly in children than infections with herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus do.