Open Access Open Badges Research article

Seroprevalence of 13 common pathogens in a rapidly growing U.S. minority population: Mexican Americans from San Antonio, TX

Rohina Rubicz1*, Charles T Leach2, Ellen Kraig3, Nikhil V Dhurandhar4, Barry Grubbs3, John Blangero1, Robert Yolken5 and Harald HH Göring1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, PO Box 760549, San Antonio, TX 78245-0549, USA

2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

3 Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

4 Infections and Obesity Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4124, USA

5 The Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287-4933, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:433  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-433

Published: 21 October 2011



Infection risks vary among individuals and between populations. Here we present information on the seroprevalence of 13 common infectious agents in a San Antonio-based sample of Mexican Americans. Mexican Americans represent the largest and most rapidly growing minority population in the U.S., and they are also considered a health disparities population.


We analyzed 1227 individuals for antibody titer to Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, Toxoplasma gondii, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus-1, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2), human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), varicella zoster virus (VZV), adenovirus-36, hepatitis A virus, and influenza A and B. Seroprevalence was examined as a function of sex, age, household income, and education.


Seroprevalence estimates ranged from 9% for T. gondii to 92% for VZV, and were similar in both sexes except for HSV-2, which was more prevalent in women. Many pathogens exhibited a significant seroprevalence change over the examined age range (15-94 years), with 7 pathogens increasing and HHV-6 decreasing with age. Socioeconomic status significantly correlated with serostatus for some pathogens.


Our findings demonstrate substantial seroprevalence rates of these common infections in this sample of Mexican Americans from San Antonio, Texas that suffers from high rates of chronic diseases including obesity and type-2 diabetes.