The Natural History of Human Polyomaviruses and Herpesviruses in Early Life--The Rhea Birth Cohort in Greece

Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Apr 1;183(7):671-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv281. Epub 2016 Mar 10.


Sparse data exist on the patterns and determinants of acquisition of polyomaviruses and herpesviruses in childhood. We measured immunoglobulin G seroreactivity against 10 polyomaviruses (BKPyV, JCPyV, KIPyV, WUPyV, MCPyV, HPyV6, HPyV7, TSPyV, HPyV9, HPyV10) and 5 herpesviruses (Epstein Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, human herpesvirus 8) using multiplex serology on blood samples collected at birth (cord blood, n = 626) and at follow-up at 3 years (n = 81) and 4 years (n = 690) of age among the Rhea birth cohort recruited in Greece from pregnant women in 2007-2008. We used Poisson regression with robust variance to identify determinants of seropositivity at age 4. Seroprevalence of polyomaviruses ranged from 38.5% to 99.8% in cord blood and from 20.9% to 82.3% at age 4. Seroprevalence of EBV, CMV, herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, and human herpesvirus 8 was 99.4%, 74.9%, 26.2%, 8.0%, and 1.6% in cord blood and 52.5%, 25.8%, 3.6%, 1.4%, and 0% at age 4, respectively. Determinants of seropositivity at age 4 were cord seropositivity (JCPyV, HPyV7, HPyV10, CMV), vaginal delivery (HPyV10), breastfeeding (CMV), younger age at day-care entry (BKPyV, KIPyV, WUPyV, TSPyV, HPyV10, HPyV9, EBV, CMV), and swimming pool attendance (BKPyV, KIPyV, WUPyV, HPyV10). Television viewing, parental stress, and hygiene practices were inversely associated with the seroprevalence of polyomaviruses and herpesviruses.

Keywords: children; epidemiologic determinants; herpesviruses; hygiene; polyomaviruses; seroprevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Herpesviridae*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Polyomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Polyomavirus*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies