Pediatr Infect Vaccine.  2020 Aug;27(2):117-126. 10.14776/piv.2020.27.e18.

Analysis of the Change in Seropositive Rate of the Epstein-Barr Virus in Koreans: A Single-Center Study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, the Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Kyungpook National University Hospital, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, the Republic of Korea
  • 3Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, the Republic of Korea
  • 4Department of Laboratory Medicine and Genetics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, the Republic of Korea

Abstract

Purpose
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is related to infectious mononucleosis or nasopharyngeal cancer, and its epidemiology may change according to the socioeconomic development of communities. This study aimed to evaluate the recent epidemiology of EBV seropositive rate in Korea.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed EBV serology test results obtained from a part of clinical care at Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea, from January 2000 to December 2017.
Results
The EBV seropositive rate in 26,527 subjects during the study period was 81.0% (21,485/26,527): 44.4% (2,716/6,122) in subjects aged 0–9 years, 75.8% (2,077/2,739) in those aged 10–19 years, and 94.5% (16,692/17,666) in those aged ≥20 years. The EBV seropositive rate decreased from 89.4% (8,592/9,616) in 2000–2008 to 76.2% (12,893/16,911) in 2009– 2017 (P<0.001). Especially, the EBV seropositive rate in subjects aged 0–19 years significantly decreased from 2000–2008 to 2009–2017 (0–9 years, 62.8% [1,172/1,866] in 2000–2008 and 36.3% [1,544/4,256] in 2009–2017; 10–19 years, 83.8% [745/858] in 2000–2008 and 70.8% (1,332/1,881) in 2009–2017) (P<0.001).
Conclusions
The EBV seropositive rate in children has decreased in the last 20 years. As the age of patients with primary EBV infection increased, there is a need for interest in clinical manifestation, such as infectious mononucleosis, in adolescents and young adults.

Keyword

Epstein-Barr virus infections; Serology; Prevalence; Republic of Korea
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