Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-15

Herpes simplex virus type 2: Seroprevalence in antenatal women

Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu - 180 001, Jammu & Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Shagufta Rathore
Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu - 180 001, Jammu & Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.68994

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Aims: To determine the seroprevalence of herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) infection in pregnant females, assess the frequency of unrecognized infection and identify the demographic profile and risk factors associated with the seroprevalence. Materials and Methods: Two hundred randomly selected, asymptomatic pregnant females attending the Obstetrics and Gynecology Outpatient Department for a routine antenatal check-up constituted the study group. Serum specimens were screened for HSV-2 infection by detecting IgG class antibodies against HSV-2-specific glycoprotein G-2 using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Results: A seroprevalence of 7.5% was found in our study. Seropositivity was maximum in the age group ≥30 years (22.20%), followed by 26-30 years (9.7%), 21-25 years (2.20%) and ≤20 years (0%). HSV-2 seropositivity was found to be significantly associated with increasing age, parity, number of sexual partners, duration of sexual activity and history of abortions (P < 0.05). No statistically significant correlation was observed between seropositivity and other demographic variables such as place of residence, education, annual family income and occupation (P > 0.05). No statistically significant association of seropositivity with present or past history suggestive of other sexually transmitted infections was found. None of our cases tested positive for human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV). Conclusion: A relatively low prevalence of HSV-2 seropositivity was found in our study, with a high frequency of unrecognized and asymptomatic infections. Our findings suggest that type-specific serotesting could be an efficient strategy to diagnose clinically asymptomatic HSV-2 infections and, therefore, to reduce the risk of HSV-2 and HIV sexual transmission by prophylactic counseling against unprotected intercourse. It may also be a useful adjunct in detecting cases who present with symptoms not directly suggestive of genital herpes.

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