Age related seroepidemiological survey of measles, mumps, rubella, varicella zoster, herpes simplex type 1 and 2 viruses

UoM administered thesis: Unknown

  • Authors:
  • Kiing Aik Wong


Age stratified seroepidemiological studies play a crucial role in the design and assessment of vaccination strategies. An existing multiplex bead immunoassay for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella zoster virus antibodies together with a newly developed multiplex bead immunoassay for herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 antibodies were used to investigate the age-related seroepidemiology of these viruses in England during 2012.To develop the HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody assay, attempts were made to produce full length of HSV-1 and HSV-2 glycoprotein G using a baculovirus vector expression system. While HSV-1 gG protein was produced, the proteins were extensively aggregated. Native glycoprotein G molecules undergo partial removal of HSV-1 signal sequence and HSV-1 short membrane anchor sequence during post translational modification. It is possible that such post translational modification is not performed when protein is processed in insect cell culture. Attempts to produce an HSV-2 glycoprotein G were not successful. It is possible that the high GC-content of HSV-2 glycoprotein G led to poor fidelity of copying the PCR amplification sequence. Commercially available truncated HSV-1 gG and HSV-2 gG were therefore used to develop a duplex microbead immunoassay for the simultaneous detection of specific HSV antibodies in human sera. The resultant assays performed with low sensitivity and specificity (HSV-1 of 89% and 66%, respectively and for HSV-2 of 79% and 85%, respectively) compared to the reference HerpeSelect ELISA.The MMRV multiplex bead immunoassay proved rapid, and required minimal sample volume to semi-quantify MMRV specific antibodies. The seroepidemiology of MMR results was compared with previous seroepidemiological studies performed in 1996 in England. The comparison showed an increase in the proportion of individuals who were positive for mumps and measles antibodies in the 2012 survey. The proportion of individuals positive for rubella was essentially unchanged. The increase in the proportion of individuals positive for mumps and measles antibodies in 2012 show the effectiveness of the change in MMR vaccination policy for England from 1996 onward. For VZV, the proportion of individuals who were positive for varicella antibodies between the 1996 and 2012 serological surveys were essentially unchanged. The comparison showed that most young children are susceptible to VZV. At this level of immunity, it can be expected that varicella will continue to produce epidemics of infection in the population, unless varicella vaccination is implemented as a part of routine childhood vaccination.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Pamela Vallely (Supervisor)
  • Paul Klapper (Supervisor)
  • Raymond Borrow (Supervisor)
Award date31 Dec 2015