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Predictors of Epstein-Barr virus serostatus and implications for vaccine policy: A systematic review of the literature

Winter, J; Jackson, C; Lewis, J; Taylor, G; Thomas, O; Stagg, H; (2020) Predictors of Epstein-Barr virus serostatus and implications for vaccine policy: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Global Health , 10 (1) , Article 010404. 10.7189/jogh.10.010404. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an important human pathogen; it infects >90% people globally and is linked to infectious mononucleosis and several types of cancer. Vaccines against EBV are in development. In this study we present the first systematic review of the literature on risk factors for EBV infection, and discuss how they differ between settings, in order to improve our understanding of EBV epidemiology and aid the design of effective vaccination strategies. Methods MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science were searched on 6th March 2017 for observational studies of risk factors for EBV infection. Studies were excluded if they were published before 2008 to ensure relevance to the modern day, given the importance of influencing future vaccination policies. There were no language restrictions. After title, abstract and full text screening, followed by checking the reference lists of included studies to identify further studies, data were extracted into standardised spreadsheets and quality assessed. A narrative synthesis was undertaken. Results Seventy-seven papers met our inclusion criteria, including data from 31 countries. There was consistent evidence that EBV seroprevalence was associated with age, increasing throughout childhood and adolescence and remaining constant thereafter. EBV was generally acquired at younger ages in Asia than Europe/North America. There was also compelling evidence for an association between cytomegalovirus infection and EBV. Additional factors associated with EBV seroprevalence, albeit with less consistent evidence, included ethnicity, socioeconomic status, other chronic viral infections, and genetic variants of HLA and immune response genes. Conclusions Our study is the first systematic review to draw together the global literature on the risk factors for EBV infection and includes an evaluation of the quality of the published evidence. Across the literature, the factors examined are diverse. In Asia, early vaccination of infants would be required to prevent EBV infection. In contrast, in Western countries a vaccine could be deployed later, particularly if it has only a short duration of protection and the intention was to protect against infectious mononucleosis. There is a lack of high-quality data on the prevalence and age of EBV infection outside of Europe, North America and South-East Asia, which are essential for informing effective vaccination policies in these settings.

Type: Article
Title: Predictors of Epstein-Barr virus serostatus and implications for vaccine policy: A systematic review of the literature
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7189/jogh.10.010404
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7189/jogh.10.010404
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094425
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