Seroprevalence of antibody to varicella zoster virus in England and Wales in children and young adults

Epidemiol Infect. 2004 Dec;132(6):1129-34. doi: 10.1017/s0950268804003140.


This is the first large-scale study to investigate the seroprevalence of varicella zoster (VZV) in the general population of England and Wales. The study focused on those aged 1-20 years, that age group in whom most infections occur. Prevalence rose rapidly with age, with 53% of children showing evidence of prior infection by the age of 5 years and most young adults having experienced infection. In addition to using a fixed cut-off recommended by the manufacturer, a mixture modelling technique was also used to define the proportion of the population seropositive in each age group. This was shown to be a more accurate approach to categorizing data from an epidemiological perspective.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Chickenpox / epidemiology*
  • Chickenpox / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Wales / epidemiology