Are coping resources related to humoral reaction induced by academic stress? An analysis of specific salivary antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of the present study was to investigate whether coping resources mediated the changes in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) specific salivary antibodies caused by academic stress. Fifty-four first-year female students of nursing and physiotherapy completed pencil and paper written questionnaires and concurrently donated saliva samples. The instrument included the short version of the Sense of Coherence (SOC) scale, measures of social support, current health, health practices, the scale of psychological distress, and state anxiety questionnaire. Data and saliva samples were collected one month after the beginning of the first semester, during term examinations period and a month into the second semester. Statistically significant changes in the level of specific salivary EBV and HCMV antibodies were observed between the four study points. State anxiety and psychological distress were significantly associated with HCMV-specific salivary antibody level increase during examinations and its decrease after the stress was over. Coping resources, however, were not associated with changes in any of the antibodies studied.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003