To elucidate the possibility that medical staffs in hospitals may be one of risk groups concerning infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV), seroepidemiological research was carried out using microneutralization test against HSV, and immunoglobulin quantitation by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
The results obtained are summarized as follows :
1. Positive rate of HSV antibodies in medical staffs examined was lower than that of general population in total, however it exceeded only in an age group of 20-24 years. The distribution of antibody titer in every age groups was similar, except that in the same group where titers of positive sera were accumulated at a higher range.
2. Positive rate of nurse groups, especially in 20-24 years of age, were higher than that of general population, although that of physicians was significantly lower in each age group.
3. Prevalence rate of nurses from 2 different hospitals were similarly higher than of normal population in early twenties, but
a difference was observed between 2 groups.
4. Young nurses working in departments for outpatients, or in surgical departments had higher prevalence rate than those working in wards for inpatients, or in departments of internal medicine, respectively.
5. Prospective observation for 2 years revealed that seroconversion occurred mainly in nurses of 20-29 years of age, and overall seroconversion rate was 1.00% per person-years in total nurses. Meanwhile, significant rise of antibody titer was observed in 2.25% per person-years, and those who showed increment distributed evenly among age groups of 20 to 59 years.
6. A method to assay immunoglobulin G specific to HSV by means of ELISA was established, although those for IgM, and IgA were in progress because of considerable levels of non-specific reaction. Titration of samples, therefore, is not accomplished.
These results suggest that medical staffs in hospitals, especially young nurses, consist a risk group of HSV infection, and place or mode of works may affect the chance of infection. Less