Paired serum samples from 110 Marine recruits and 459 Vietnam veterans were tested for the development of EB virus (EBV) antibody. The socioeconomic background of recruits was found to be low. There is a high prevalence, 85.7%, of preexisting antibody in recruits. This suggests low socioeconomic background predisposes individuals to development of EBV antibody at an early age. Despite the low susceptibility rate, the incidence of infectious mononucleosis for recruits is 18.5 per 1,000 and for Vietnam veterans 23.8 per 1,000. The incidence of EBV antibody seroconversion was ten times greater than reported hospitalization rates.
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