DOI: 10.3390/toxics11090745 ISSN:

Association of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances with Allostatic Load Stratified by Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 Exposure

Yvonne Boafo, Sayed Mostafa, Emmanuel Obeng-Gyasi
  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) 1 and 2 are persistent infections that affect a significant percentage of United States (US) adults, with 48% having HSV-1 and 12% having HSV-2. Using data stratified by HSV-1 and HSV-2 exposures, this study investigated the association of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of toxic synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds found in environmental, occupational, and home settings, with allostatic load (AL), an index of chronic physiological stress. Descriptive statistics, multivariable logistic regression, and Bayesian Kernel Machine Regression (BKMR) modeling were used to assess the effects of multi-PFAS exposures on AL using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2014. Results indicated participants not exposed to PFAS exhibited 77% to 97% lower odds of higher AL (p < 0.001). For example, PFOS per unit increase brought forth a 2% odds increase in higher AL (OR: 1.02; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.05; p < 0.05). Participants exposed to PFAS had reduced odds of higher AL (77%–79%), regardless of their HSV-1 and HSV-2 status. PFAS exposure was more prevalent in those with HSV-1 (60%) than in those with HSV-2 (20%) infection, while AL levels were comparable in both groups (17%). BKMR revealed a nonlinear PFAS-AL association and confirmed interactions among PFAS. In summary, PFAS exposure increased the likelihood of higher AL among those with persistent HSV infections. Our study enhances the current understanding of the complex dynamics involving PFAS, persistent infections, and AL, which hold significant implications for public health and clinical intervention strategies.

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