Seroepidemiology of cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus in twins and their families

Joann Bodurtha, Stuart P. Adler, Walter E. Nance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To determine the importance of intrafamilial transmission of cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus (types 1 and 2), the authors investigated the presence of immunoglobulin G antibody to one or both of these viruses in the sera collected between 1976 and 1985 from 1,115 members of 301 kinships from Virginia consisting either of juvenile twins and their parents or of adult twins, their spouses, and offspring. The sample included 486 children and 629 adults, aged 1-68 years. Among the 125 couples in whom the wives were seropositive, 78 (62%) of the husbands were found to be seropositive. Among 77 couples in whom the wives were seronegative, only 32 (42%) of the husbands were seropositive (p < 0.01). Of 105 couples in whom the wives were seropositive for herpes simplex virus, 81 (77%) husbands were seropositive compared with 20 (47%) of 43 husbands with herpes simplex virus-seronegative wives (p < 0.001). In families with cytomegalovirus-seropositive mothers, 54 (25%) of 213 children were seropositive for cytomegalovirus compared with 13 (8%) of 168 children in families with seronegative mothers (p < 0.001). Childhood cytomegalovirus infections showed no association with infection in the father. In contrast, among families in which both parents were seropositive for herpes simplex virus, 48 (31%) of 156 children were seropositive compared with only two (4%) of 48 children without herpes simplex virus-seropositive parents (p < 0.001). Among all siblings, there were strong associations for both herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus infections. These data are consistent with the venereal transmission of cytomegalovirus in married couples, provide evidence for the intrafamilial spread of herpes simplex virus, and confirm the importance of the maternal-child transmission of cytomegalovirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-276
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume128
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytomegaloviruses
  • Herpes simplex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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