Herpes simplex virus (HSV) was shed from the genital tracts of 26 (15%) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) from 19 (11%) of 177 promiscuous women. Virus excretion was especially common (HSV 41% and CMV 19%) in the youngest age group (aged 19 or less). Episodic shedding of CMV was studied by restriction enzyme analysis of the viral DNAs prepared from repeat isolates. Repeat isolates from each woman were identical, which indicated that recurrent shedding of CMV resulted from endogenous reinfection. Even under conditions of high exposure no exogenous reinfection with CMV could be shown, which indicated that exogenous reinfection is rare.
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