Background and objectives: The purpose of the study was to register antibody prevalences of HHV-7 in various locations of the world in comparison to the closely related HHV-6.
Materials and methods: Sera of healthy blood donors from nine countries in five continents were titered by indirect immunofluorescent assays using HHV-6 infected HSB2 and HHV-7 infected SupT1 cells.
Results: Antibody prevalence for HHV-7 is high (75-98%) in practically all countries except for Northern Japan (44%), with no simple correlation to elevated HHV-6 antibody titers. There were regions of low, intermediate and high mean antibody titers against HHV-7 such as 78.5-91.3 for Belgium, Israel, Japan, USA and Australia, 175.4-182.6 for Mexico and Cologne/Germany, and 389.2 for South Africa for which geographic characteristics may be responsible.
Conclusion: HHV-7, similar to HHV-6, is a widespread human herpesvirus with elevated antibody titers in the healthy human population essentially everywhere. The data warrant further studies to evaluate its possible pathologic potential, preferentially in persons with defective immune responses.