Correlation between Epstein Barr virus antibodies, serum IgE and atopic disease

Mauro Calvani, Claudia Alessandri, Giuseppe Paolone, Luciano Rosengard, Antonino Di Caro, David De Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is currently accepted that viral infections may influence the development of atopy. In the present study we evaluated serum IgE levels as well as the prevalence of symptoms indicative of atopic disease and EBV antibodies in 353 children aged from 1 month to 19 years. Antibodies against EBV were detected by immunofluorescence. IgE levels in serum were measured by enzyme inmmunoassay. Dividing the study population according to EBV seropositivity and age, we noted that the prevalence of high IgE levels (> 2 s.d.) was, in total, more frequent in the EBV negative (32.9%) than in the positive subjects (27.6%). Interestingly, this higher prevalence was found only in the groups aged under six, especially in the 7 to 29 month group, where it was statistically significant (p = 0.037), whereas in the 6-19 year group the situation was reversed. Furthermore, selecting only the atopic children younger than 3 years of age with high IgE levels and clinical symptoms of atopy (wheezing and/or dermatitis) it was possible to demonstrate lower EBV seropositivity compared with the normal IgE controls for each group, even though these differences were not statistically significant. In conclusion, the results of our study suggest that, in our selected population, EBV infection in the first years of life is associated with a lower prevalence of high IgE levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


  • Atopic disease
  • Atopic hypersensitivity
  • Epstein Barr virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology


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