SCHIFFER GROUP -- Herpes Virus Infections in Infants
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Dynamics of herpes virus infections in infants

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Transmission of viral infection from person to person is difficult to observe in great detail, particularly in children. Drs. Soren Gantt and Dr. Corey Casper followed a cohort of Ugandan infants, mothers and siblings for infection with five different herpes viruses (Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) and human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) for over a year. We are using statistical and mathematical models to compare patterns of viral shedding between infants, siblings and mothers. These analyses will provide a unique window into the maturation of the immune response against each of these viral pathogens with age.  We are also using models to identify fundamental features of viral transmission, including viral load necessary for transmission, viral incubation period and infectivity of siblings versus mothers for each virus.