Three year seroepidemiological study of varicella-zoster virus in São Paulo, Brazil

Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2000 May-Jun;42(3):125-8. doi: 10.1590/s0036-46652000000300002.


A serosurvey of varicella has been carried out in children attending the public school network of São Paulo city, Brazil, from 1992 to 1994. This study was performed in order to establish the age related prevalence of antibodies against varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and its age specific transmission dynamics pattern in these children. Among 2500 schools in the city of São Paulo public network, 304 were randomly selected; 7 children of a given age (ranging from 1 to 15 years) were randomly selected in each school, and blood samples were obtained by fingerprick into filter paper. Blood eluates were analyzed for the presence of antibodies to VZV by ELISA. Proportion of seropositivity were calculated for each age group. Samples consisted of 1768 individuals in 1992, 1758 in 1993, and 1817 in 1994, resulting in 5343 eluates. A high proportion of seropositive children from 1 to 3 years of age was observed, ascending until 10 years of age and reaching a plateau around 90% afterwards. VZV transmission in this community was similar along the three years of the study. In children attending public schools in the city of São Paulo, contact with VZV occurs in early childhood. If immunization against VZV is considered it should be introduced as soon as possible.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Chickenpox / blood*
  • Chickenpox / epidemiology
  • Chickenpox / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Viral