Prevalence and titre of antibodies to cytomegalovirus and epstein-barr virus in patients with autism spectrum disorder

In Vivo. 2014 Jul-Aug;28(4):621-6.


Background/aim: The etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is currently unknown. Few studies have explored the role of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) as potential etiological factors of ASD. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the seropositivity rate and antibody titre to CMV and EBV in children with ASD compared to same-aged healthy controls.

Patients and methods: We compared the seropositivity rate and titre of antibodies to CMV and EBV in 54 children with ASD (19 with autistic disorder and 35 with non-autistic disorder ASD) and in 46 controls.

Results: Seropositivity rate and titre of the two antibodies were not dissimilar between cases and controls. However, considering only patients with ASD, those seropositive for CMV tended to test worse to the major severity scales than the seronegative ones.

Conclusion: Titre and seropositivity rate of antibodies to CMV and EBV are similar between children with ASD and healthy controls.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; CMV; EBV; antibody titre.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / epidemiology*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / immunology*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / virology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G