Seroprevalence of varicella-zoster virus in Korea

Won Suk Choi, Ji Yun Noh, Joong Yeon Huh, Yu Mi Jo, Jacob Lee, Joon Young Song, Woo Joo Kim, Hee Jin Cheong

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Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox and herpes zoster. Korea is assumed to have a high seroprevalence of VZV, although data are scant. A cross-sectional and age-stratified study was conducted to investigate the seroprevalence of VZV in different ages in the South Korean population. Four medical institutions were chosen in the southwestern area of Seoul in the vicinity of Gyeonggi-do. Serum samples were obtained at each institution from consenting patients during April-August, 2008. Anti-VZV IgG antibody was measured by an enzyme immunoassay. Of the 887 patients, 87.6% had anti-VZV IgG antibody. The prevalence of anti-VZV IgG antibody was 75% during the first 3 months after birth, but was only 13.6% 12 months after birth. Anti-VZV IgG antibody prevalence increased, first at 1-2 years of age, and then at 5-6 years of age. The seroprevalence rate exceeded 90% in subjects over 11 years of age. The results show that the seroprevalence of VZV is relatively high in the South Korean population. A study on the rate of varicella vaccination and the vaccine's efficacy in South Korea is warranted. J. Med. Virol. 82:2123-2126, 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2123-2126
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec


  • Herpes zoster
  • Seroprevalence
  • Varicella
  • Varicella zoster virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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  • Cite this

    Choi, W. S., Noh, J. Y., Huh, J. Y., Jo, Y. M., Lee, J., Song, J. Y., Kim, W. J., & Cheong, H. J. (2010). Seroprevalence of varicella-zoster virus in Korea. Journal of Medical Virology, 82(12), 2123-2126.