Seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 and correlates of infection in Israel

Batya B. Davidovici, Manfred Green, Mehran J. Marouni, Ravit Bassal, Jeanne M. Pimenta, Dani Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of infections with herpes viruses 1 and 2 (HSV1 and HSV2) have significantly changed in the developed countries during the last three decades. This study provides up-to-date estimates of HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence and information on the correlates of infection in a representative sample of the Israeli population. Methods: Three thousand eight hundred and eighty-one sera collected in 2000-2001 from an age-stratified general population sample were tested using an indirect IgG ELISA for type-specific HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies. Results: Unadjusted HSV-1 seroprevalence was 59.8% (95% confidence interval: 58.2-61.4) and increased with age in both genders. Multivariate analysis revealed that HSV-1 seroprevalence rates were significantly higher in females, non-Jews, subjects who were not born in Israel, inhabitants of Jerusalem and Southern Israel and among subjects also seropositive for HSV-2. Unadjusted HSV-2 seroprevalence among adults was 9.2% (95% confidence interval: 7.9-10.2), and was higher in females, peaking at 20.5% in females aged 40-49. In a multivariate model, females, subjects who were not born in Israel and residents of Jerusalem and Southern Israel were significantly associated with HSV-2 seropositivity. Conclusions: HSV-1 seroepidemiology in Israel resembles the trends in industrialized countries. HSV-2 seroprevalence rates is in the lower range reported across Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Herpes simplex virus types-1 and -2
  • Israel
  • Risk factors
  • Seroprevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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