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The prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type-specific IgG was determined in sera taken in 1999 to 2006 from 1,100 children aged 0-18 years, 800 blood donors and 200 pregnant women in Thuringia, Germany, using tests based on the HSV glycoproteins (g) gG. By the age of 10-12 years, HSV-1 IgG prevalence reached 57.3%, rising to 69.3% by the age of 16-18 years and to 78.0% by the age of 28-30 years. Between 2.7% and 4.7% of the children aged up to 15 years had HSV-2 antibodies, increasing to 7.3% at the age of 16-18 years and to 13.6% among adults. The prevalence of HSV-1 antibodies among girls was significantly lower than among boys and a significantly higher prevalence of HSV-2 IgG in women than in men was detected. The reduced incidence of HSV-1 infections during childhood, especially in girls, has to be followed up since a higher number of primary HSV-2 infections may result. Between 2.7% and 4.7% of all children tested seemed to acquire HSV-2 by intrauterine or neonatal infection. We also compared the use of gG-1 with gC-1: the agreement of 97.2% between the two ELISAs suggests that gG-1 and gC-1 can be considered equivalent antigenic targets. .


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