Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a species-specific DNA virus of the Herpetoviridae family. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is more widespread in developing countries and in areas of low socio-economic conditions. It causes high morbidity and mortality. After primary infection CMV is not eradicated but establishes life-long infection in its host. CMV dispersed and become dormant or latent in multiple end organs, and can later be reactivated by a number of different stimuli, including immunosuppresion and inflammation. To determine CMV prevalence in a sample of the foreign manpower population in Jeddah region, Saudi Arabia, we tested serum samples for CMV-specific immunoglobulin G from participants aged 20 to 60 years (n = 514) by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The prevalence of CMV infection was 80.7% in studied population. CMV prevalence differed significantly by sex (p<0.05). The prevalence of cytomegalovirus was higher significantly in females (86.8%) than in males (75.00%). CMV seroprevalence increased gradually with age, ranging from 53.8% in 20–24 year olds to 95.2% in those aged 55 to 60 years. CMV seroprevalence differed significantly (p<0.05) by nationality and/or ethnicity as follows: 66.7% in Indian, 78.7% in Egyptian, 76.7% in Yemeni, 87.8% in Sudani, 82.7% in Pakistani, 83.6% in Bangladeshi, to 88.9% in Ethiopian. The seroprevalence of cytomegalovirus among the African population (85.1%) varied significantly (p<0.05) from Asian population (77.5%). The finding that high levels of CMV exposure occur in the first years of life suggests that for a universal vaccination program to have maximal impact, the vaccine would need to be delivered to infants and have a long duration of protective efficacy. This is the first seroprevalence looking at cytomegalovirus in the foreign manpower community in Jeddah region, Saudi Arabia. This study provides valuable information that can be used to examine the incidence of infection in the community and help focus the administration of a future CMV vaccine to appropriate target populations.
Key words: Cytomegalovirus (CMV), virus, seroprevalence, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Immunoglobulin G (IgG).
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