Author(s): Pea KC, Adelson ME, Mordechai E, Blaho JA
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Abstract Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and -2) are significant human pathogens causing clinically indistinguishable facial and genital lesions. Recently, the number of reported genital herpes cases caused by type 1 virus has increased. Identifying the HSV type is of clinical importance to determine proper treatment, as there is no licensed vaccine or cure. We assessed, by PCR, the frequency of HSV-1 and HSV-2 present in more than 60,000 clinical cervicovaginal specimens derived from samples originating from 43 continental U.S. states. Fourteen percent were positive for HSV-1 and/or HSV-2. This likely represents subclinal shedding. It was not a measurement of the prevalence of HSV infection. While the majority were HSV-2, 32\% were HSV-1. The distribution of HSV types varied between the states with the largest number of specimens, New Jersey, Florida, and Texas. Specimens from women under the age of 24 had an HSV-1 positivity rate of 47 percent. Importantly, in New Jersey, an observed age effect was the disproportionately high prevalence of genital HSV-1 in young women. This represents the largest analysis of HSV types reported and has important public health implications, particularly for younger women.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion