Acute and recurrent acute urticaria are often associated with multiple factors including infections and recent data suggest a role for herpesviruses.
To test the null hypothesis, that is, there is no association of herpesvirus infections with urticaria.
Thirty-seven patients between one month and 15 years of age were age matched to 37 controls who were healthy or had mild acute respiratory infections but without urticaria. Patients and controls were followed for 1 to 6 years. Diagnostic studies included DNA detection by real-time PCR for herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6). Tests for other infections included adenovirus, parvovirus B 19, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza A, Group A streptococci, rotavirus, and parasites.
Specific infections were diagnosed in 26 of 37 cases and among 9 of 37 control children (P=0.0002). Single or concomitant herpesvirus infections occurred in 24 cases and in 4 controls (65% vs 11 %, p=0.0003). Cases had 10 HHV-6 infections, 8 CMV infections, 5 EBV infections, and 4 HSV-1 infections.
Herpesvirus infections are associated with acute or recurrent acute urticaria.