Background: Elevated titers of antibodies against different herpes virus antigens have been reported in some immunodeficient and systemic autoimmune disorders.
Objective: To examine if Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgG and IgM antibodies are detected more frequently in children with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) compared to controls.
Subjects and methods: Thirty-four children with AITD, aged 9.62 +/- 2.35 years, and 31 matched controls, aged 9.24 +/- 2.98 years, were studied.
Results: The percentage of EBV IgG+ children with AITD was statistically higher than the percentage of EBV IgG+ controls (82.35% versus 51.61%, P = 0.008). The percentage of EBV IgG+ children with AITD and hypothyroidism was statistically higher than the percentage of EBV IgG+ children with AITD, without hypothyroidism (100% versus 70%, P = 0.024). No other statistically significant differences were observed in HSV-1+2, and CMV IgG or IgM antibodies between the subgroups of children studied.
Conclusions: EBV seroprevalence is higher in children with AITD compared to controls and the underlying pathology remains to be elucidated.