The isolation of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV‐7) from saliva and blood, and the prevalence of antibodies to the virus in healthy individuals were investigated in Japan. By cocultivating samples with phytohemagglutinin‐P‐stimulated cord blood mononuclear cells, HHV‐7 was isolated from the saliva of 1 of 20 children and from 4 of 38 adults but not from their blood. The isolates were confirmed as closely related to RK strain of HHV‐7, but not to U1102 (human herpesvirus 6, HHV‐6 type A) or Z29 (HHV‐6 type B) strains by restriction cleavage patterns of the DNA. The virus antibody of 330 healthy children and adults was measured with an indirect immunofluorescence assay, using one of our isolates (FG7‐6). The positivity rate of antibody was 40% in the first 2 months of life, declined during the first 6 months, then gradually increased and was 45% at 1‐4 years of age. It reached the highest level (60%) at 11‐13 years of age and was maintained until the end of the third decade, then decreased thereafter. Additionally, no simultaneous rise in the antibody titers was observed in 7 virologically confirmed exanthem subitum patients.
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