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      Co-infection of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 and HIV Infections among Pregnant Women in Ibadan, Nigeria


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          Genital infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) facilitates the acquisition of HIV, both mutually reinforcing infection. Lifelong latent HSV-2 infection raises concerns among women of reproductive age, considering the risk of neonatal transmission. In Nigeria, screening for HSV-2 and co-infection with HIV in antenatal clinics is not routine. This study was undertaken to determine the seroprevalence and co-infection of HSV-2 and HIV among pregnant women.


          This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the antenatal clinic of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, between March and August 2013. A total of 270 consenting pregnant women were enrolled. The study involved collecting socio-demographic data and laboratory determination of HSV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) and HIV seroprevalence using type-specific third-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DIAPRO Diagnostic Bioprobes, Milan, Italy) and Uni-Gold Recombigen/ALERE determine, respectively. Data analyses were done using SPSS version 20 (SPSS Inc., IL, USA).


          The seroprevalence for HSV-2 type-specific IgG was 33.3% (90/270), and HIV antibodies were identified in 19.63% (53/270) of the women. The HIV co-infection was 38.8% (35/90) among HSV-2-positive women and 10% (18/180) among HSV-2-negative women. Majority of the HSV-2 positive women (62.2%, 56/90) presented in their 2 nd trimester while 18.9% (17/90) in their 3 rd trimester.


          The seroprevalence of HSV-2 in this pregnant population is lower than what is observed in some other Sub-Saharan African countries; however, HSV-2/HIV co-infection is high. The HSV-2-seronegative women are still susceptible to primary HSV-2 infection in pregnancy with increased risk for HIV co-infection and neonatal transmission.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Herpes simplex virus 2 infection increases HIV acquisition in men and women: systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.

          To estimate the sex-specific effect of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) on the acquisition of HIV infection. The increased number of longitudinal studies available since the last meta-analysis was published allows for the calculation of age- and sexual behaviour-adjusted relative risks (RR) separately for men and women. Systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. PubMed, Embase and relevant conference abstracts were systematically searched to identify longitudinal studies in which the relative timing of HSV-2 infection and HIV infection could be established. Where necessary, authors were contacted for separate estimates in men and women, adjusted for age and a measure of sexual behaviour. Summary adjusted RR were calculated using random-effects meta-analyses where appropriate. Studies on recent HSV-2 incidence as a risk factor for HIV acquisition were also collated. Of 19 eligible studies identified, 18 adjusted for age and at least one measure of sexual behaviour after author contact. Among these, HSV-2 seropositivity was a statistically significant risk factor for HIV acquisition in general population studies of men [summary adjusted RR, 2.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.9-3.9] and women (RR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.7-5.6), and among men who have sex with men (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.4). The effect in high-risk women showed significant heterogeneity, with no overall evidence of an association. Prevalent HSV-2 infection is associated with a three-fold increased risk of HIV acquisition among both men and women in the general population, suggesting that, in areas of high HSV-2 prevalence, a high proportion of HIV is attributable to HSV-2.
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            Global Estimates of Prevalent and Incident Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infections in 2012

            Background Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection causes significant disease globally. Adolescent and adult infection may present as painful genital ulcers. Neonatal infection has high morbidity and mortality. Additionally, HSV-2 likely contributes substantially to the spread of HIV infection. The global burden of HSV-2 infection was last estimated for 2003. Here we present new global estimates for 2012 of the burden of prevalent (existing) and incident (new) HSV-2 infection among females and males aged 15–49 years, using updated methodology to adjust for test performance and estimate by World Health Organization (WHO) region. Methods and Findings We conducted a literature review of HSV-2 prevalence studies world-wide since 2000. We then fitted a model with constant HSV-2 incidence by age to pooled HSV-2 prevalence values by age and sex. Prevalence values were adjusted for test sensitivity and specificity. The model estimated prevalence and incidence by sex for each WHO region to obtain global burden estimates. Uncertainty bounds were computed by refitting the model to reflect the variation in the underlying prevalence data. In 2012, we estimate that there were 417 million people aged 15–49 years (range: 274–678 million) living with HSV-2 infection world-wide (11.3% global prevalence), of whom 267 million were women. We also estimate that in 2012, 19.2 million (range: 13.0–28.6 million) individuals aged 15–49 years were newly-infected (0.5% of all individuals globally). The highest burden was in Africa. However, despite lower prevalence, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions also contributed large numbers to the global totals because of large population sizes. Conclusions The global burden of HSV-2 infection is large, leaving over 400 million people at increased risk of genital ulcer disease, HIV acquisition, and transmission of HSV-2 to partners or neonates. These estimates highlight the critical need for development of vaccines, microbicides, and other new HSV prevention strategies.
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              Genital herpes.

              Genital herpes is the main cause of genital ulcers worldwide; the prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 infections in the general population ranges from 10% to 60%. Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, although HSV-1 accounts for about half of new cases in developed countries. The risk of HIV acquisition is three times higher in people with HSV-2. Neonatal herpes is an uncommon but serious complication of genital herpes. Most genital HSV-2 infections are unrecognised and undiagnosed; infected individuals, even with mild symptoms, shed HSV, and can infect sexual partners. Since clinical diagnosis is neither sensitive nor specific, virological and type-specific serological tests should be used routinely. Oral antiviral drugs for HSV infections are safe and effective and can be used both to treat episodes and to prevent recurrences. Antiviral treatment of the infected partners and condom use reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HSV-2.

                Author and article information

                J Glob Infect Dis
                J Glob Infect Dis
                Journal of Global Infectious Diseases
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Jan-Mar 2019
                : 11
                : 1
                : 19-24
                [1 ]Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
                [2 ]Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria
                [3 ]Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Chinenye Gloria Anaedobe, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. E-mail: chimedico@ 123456yahoo.com
                Copyright: © 2019 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases

                This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

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