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Epidemiology of Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in an urban region of Germany: what has changed?

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Abstract

Since the dynamics of transmission of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) have not been clarified yet, we assessed a possible change in HCMV seroprevalence in Frankfurt am Main, Germany during the past twenty years and tried to detect variables with an impact on epidemiology. Between 1/1/1988 and 10/15/2008, a total of 54443 serum samples were collected for routine diagnostics and analyzed using Enzygnost Anti HCMV-IgG enzyme immunoassay (Siemens/Dade Behring, Marburg, Germany). Two decades, 1/1/1988–12/31/1997 and 1/1/1998–10/15/2008, and several groups (type of health insurance, gender, age, HIV-status) were evaluated to assess changes in seroprevalence. Regarding both decades, the overall age-adjusted prevalence of HIV-negative patients dropped from 63.70% (confidence interval (CI) 95% 63.15–64.25) to 57.25% (CI 95% 56.57–57.93; P < 0.0001). Private health insurance (PHI) patients showed significant lower HCMV seroprevalences than members of obligatory health insurances (OHI) in both decades (1988–1997: PHI = 55.79%, OHI = 64.27%; P < 0.0001; 1998–1908: PHI = 47.02%, OHI = 58.74%; P < 0.0001). Furthermore, comparing the two decades, there was generally a gender-specific statistically significant decrease in HCMV seroprevalence for males (63.54–55.54%) and females (63.83–58.73%) as well as for members of PHI and OHI (PHI males: 57.59% to 47.19%, PHI females 54.10–46.80%; OHI males: 64.00–57.06%, OHI females 64.50–60.11%). Also, while female HIV-positive patients showed significant difference in HCMV seroprevalence between the two decades (83.17 and 87.80%, P = 0.023), there was no significant difference in male patients with HIV (88.76 and 87.32% in the first and second decade, respectively (P = 0.196). The cumulative HCMV prevalence of all HIV-negative patients tested in the past 20 years demonstrates a biphasic, age-related rise of HCMV seroprevalence throughout all age-groups. The seroprevalence of HCMV has declined between 1988–1997 and 1998–2008 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The decline varied between different age-groups. HCMV prevalence correlates with the type of health insurance, gender, age, and HIV-status.

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Abbreviations

HCMV:

Human cytomegalovirus

CI 95%:

95% confidence intervals

PHI:

Private health insurance

OHI:

Obligatory health insurance

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Dr. Henry Ogbomo for critically reading the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Holger F. Rabenau.

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Lübeck, P.R., Doerr, H.W. & Rabenau, H.F. Epidemiology of Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in an urban region of Germany: what has changed?. Med Microbiol Immunol 199, 53–60 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00430-009-0136-3

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