Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Obstetric outcomes of human Herpes virus‑2 infection among pregnant women in Benin, Nigeria

EI Kalu, CK Ojide, A Chuku, II Chukwuonye, FE Agwu, VU Nwadike, FC Korie, GOC Okafor


Objective: This study investigated the obstetric outcomes of herpes simplex virus (HSV‑2) infection among pregnant women.

Materials and Methods: In this prospective cohort study, a total of 674 consenting pregnant women attending ante‑natal clinic in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and Central Hospital Benin were recruited between November 2011 and December, 2012. The women were screened for HSV‑1, and HSV‑2 using glycoprotein‑G‑based type‑specific Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay on archived blood samples; and were followed up to the delivery period and postnatal clinic. The HSV‑2‑seronegative participants underwent second blood sampling for HSV‑2 IgG and IgM assay during the delivery period. The patients were thus categorized into “HSV‑2 seropositive”, “HSV‑2–seronegative,” and “incident HSV‑2 infection” cohorts. The pregnancy outcomes were assessed by review of hospital records. Data analysis was with SPSS version 16 software.

Results: Of 674 pregnant women surveyed, 312 (46.3%) were HSV‑2 seropositive; while 362 (56.7%) were HSV‑2 seronegative. Comparing the “HSV‑2 seropositive” and “HSV‑seronegative” groups, there were no significant differences in occurrence of low birth weight (LBW), prematurity, spontaneous abortions, and stillbirth events (P = 0.96; 0.95; 1.0; and 0.77, respectively). Comparing the “incident HSV‑2 infection” with the “HSV‑2 seronegative” groups, the relative risks of occurrence of LBW deliveries, preterm deliveries, and stillbirths were 12.6, 25.1, and 4.5, respectively.

Conclusion: First episode HSV‑2 infection among pregnant women in Benin, Nigeria is associated with an increased risk of occurrence of spontaneous abortion, LBW delivery, stillbirths, and preterm delivery.

Keywords: Benin, herpes simplex virus‑2, obstetrics outcomes, pregnant women, seroprevalence

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