Humans are infected with viruses that establish long-term persistent infections. To address whether immunocompetent individuals control virus reactivation globally or independently and to identify patterns of sporadic reactivation, we monitored herpesviruses and polyomaviruses in 30 adults, over 14 months. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA was quantitated in saliva and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), cytomegalovirus (CMV) was assayed in urine, and JC virus (JCV) and BK virus (BKV) DNAs were assayed in urine and PBMCs. All individuals shed EBV in saliva, whereas 67% had >or=1 blood sample positive for EBV. Levels of EBV varied widely. CMV shedding occurred infrequently but occurred more commonly in younger individuals (P<.03). JCV and BKV virurias were 46.7% and 0%, respectively. JCV shedding was age dependent and occurred commonly in individuals >or=40 years old (P<.03). Seasonal variation was observed in shedding of EBV and JCV, but there was no correlation among shedding of EBV, CMV, and JCV (P>.50). Thus, adults independently control persistent viruses, which display discordant, sporadic reactivations.