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Humoral immunity following chickenpox is influenced by geography and ethnicity

Ayres, K. L., Talukder, Y. and Breuer, J. (2010) Humoral immunity following chickenpox is influenced by geography and ethnicity. Journal of Infection, 61 (3). pp. 244-251. ISSN 0163-4453

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jinf.2010.06.012


Objectives To investigate the contribution of ethnicity and geographical location to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) serostatus and antibody concentrations. Methods The presence and concentrations of antibodies to VZV were measured in 639 Bangladeshi women born in Bangladesh (BBB), 94 Bangladeshi women born in the UK (BUK) and 262 White women born in the UK (WUK). The results were anaylsed in relation to demographic and social data. Results BBB women were significantly less likely to be VZV seropositive at all ages than both BUK and WUK women. However, the odds of a Bangladeshi-born woman being seropositive increased by 1.04 for each year under the age of 15 spent in the UK. In contrast, antibody concentrations were significantly lower in ethnic Bangladeshi women, irrespective of country of birth. White, but not Bangladeshi women, showed evidence of antibody boosting over time despite the latter having more exposure to children. Conclusion Geographical location during childhood is the major influence on age of primary infection with VZV while the level of antibody is related to ethnicity. Since the risk of re-infection with VZV following both natural infection and vaccination is increased as antibody concentrations fall, these results have implications for VZV vaccination programmes particularly in non-White populations.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
ID Code:18636
Uncontrolled Keywords:Varicella-zoster virus; Epidemiology; Antibody

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