Seroprevalence of IgG Antibodies to Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1 in Nigerian Children
Background: Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) can cause chronic ulcerative infection in immunosuppressed children leading to latency with subsequent reactivate in the conjunctiva resulting in scarring, thickening of the cornea and blindness. They are also common cause of fatal sporadic
encephalitis in 70% of paediatric patients. This cross sectional study determined the prevalence of HSV-1 in children in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
Method: A total of 377 blood samples were collected from children less than five years old attending some selected hospitals in Kaduna State and analyzed for HSV-1 IgG antibodies employing Enzyme immune assay technique by using commercially available ELISA Kits.
Results: Sero-prevalence rate of 57.8 % (218 /377) was obtained. The highest prevalence of HSV-1 infection was obtained in children in age group 49-60 months (85.2%) and lowest in children in age group 13-24 months (44.8%). Further analysis of the result of children less than one year old showed that children 9-16 weeks old were more susceptible to HSV-1 infection. HSV-1 infection was significantly 2 associated with age (÷ =37.92, df = 4, p = 0.001). Though a higher prevalence was obtained in female
children (61.5%) than male children (54.5%), the difference observed in the prevalence was not 2 statistically significant (÷ =1.84, df =1, P =0.105).HSV-1 infection was significantly associated with 2 children who were in school (÷ = 15.28, df = 1, P= 0.001) with a higher prevalence of 74.3%.
Conclusion: Over half of the children sampled were protected from HSV-1 infection while 42.2% were susceptible to the infection and were at risk of developing severe HSV-1 manifestation which includes keratitis, encephalitis and Keratoconjunctivitis.
Keywords: Seroprevalence, Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1, Children, ELIZA, Kaduna State, Nigeria