CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research

: 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 155--156

Seroprevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (herpes, Chlamydia, and syphilis) in pregnant women in Warri, Nigeria

Favour Osazuwa1, Otutu-Moses Ifueko2,  
1 Department of Laboratory Services, Lily Hospitals Limited, Warri, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Favour Osazuwa
Department of Laboratory Services, Lily Hospitals Limited, Warri

How to cite this article:
Osazuwa F, Ifueko OM. Seroprevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (herpes, Chlamydia, and syphilis) in pregnant women in Warri, Nigeria.CHRISMED J Health Res 2017;4:155-156

How to cite this URL:
Osazuwa F, Ifueko OM. Seroprevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (herpes, Chlamydia, and syphilis) in pregnant women in Warri, Nigeria. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Sep 20 ];4:155-156
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Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a public health challenge world over. STDs have been associated with conditions such as spontaneous miscarriages, stillbirth, prematurity, low birth weight, preterm labor, premature rupture of fetal membranes and postpartum endometritis. Other long-term morbidities such as cervical cancers and chronic pelvic infection are also observed in women with these infections in pregnancy.[1] The impact of this group of infections on the scarce resources of most individuals, family, and developing nations are enormous and often underestimated.[2]

This study was carried out as part of a pilot study to ascertain STD prevalence among pregnant women in selected centers in Delta State, Nigeria. Approval for this study was received from Delta State hospitals management board, Warri medical zone in the letter CHW/VOL14/48. Subjects for this study were selected by random sampling among antenatal attendees at the Central Hospital, Warri. Subjects were recruited irrespective of parity or gravidity status; pregnant women on antibiotics were not included. The seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2), Chlamydia, and syphilis were carried out using ELISA following manufacturer's instruction.

The result of this study shows that HSV-2 was the most prevalent STD with 192 (60.8%) subjects infected, this was followed by Chlamydia trachomatis 12 (3.8%) and the least was Treponema pallidum 7 (2.2%).

The prevalence report of HSV-2 in this study is higher than 24.4% HSV-2 seroprevalence in Jos,[3] but close to 44.3% HSV-2 in Benin City.[4] The acquisition of genital herpes during pregnancy has been associated with spontaneous abortion, intrauterine growth retardation, preterm labor, congenital and neonatal herpes infections, cervical dysplasia, and risk of acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus infections (HIV).[5] Reactivated endometrial HSV infection may be associated with a subsequent increase in natural killer cell activity which has been found to be related to pregnancy loss.[5]

3.8% prevalence was recorded for C. trachomatis in this study. Previous studies on the seroprevalence of Chlamydia among pregnant women in other parts of Nigeria have varying reports, 2% among 100 pregnant women in Calabar,[6] and 56.1% among 164 pregnant women in Jos.[7]C. trachomatis during pregnancy has consequences for mother, baby, and any sexual partner. The adverse outcomes associated with C. trachomatis in pregnancy include premature rupture of membranes, postpartum endometrial inflammation, and low birth weight.[8]

The prevalence of syphilis in this study was low 7 (2.2%). This prevalence report is close to 1.7% prevalence among pregnant women in Osogbo, South Western, Nigeria,[9] but far higher than 0.4% (1 in 231 pregnant women) reported in a study at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola.[10] The differences in the prevalence of syphilis in the various reports might be as a result of differences in sexual behavior in the study areas. The variation in prevalence could also be affected by the difference in technique used to assay for syphilis.

Recently, there has been an argument (personal observation) among researchers and healthcare professionals whether the screening for syphilis among pregnant women should continue; based on scientific data available on the deleterious effect of congenital syphilis, the need for continued screening for syphilis cannot be overemphasized.

In conclusion, the seroprevalence of STDs in this locality was high; a targeted public health campaign for STDs among pregnant women and other high-risk groups is however emphasized in our locality. There is a need for screening for HSV-2 during pregnancy along with other commonly tested infections such as HIV and syphilis because of the high rate of neonatal transmission near the end of pregnancy.

Financial support and sponsorship

The author received gift of laboratory test kits from Petr-GS in the HIV scaling impact program (PR 15/01276A).

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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