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Sex Transm Dis. 2002 Nov;29(11):637-42.

Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 antibody in Cameroon.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Bonn, Germany.



Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. As a leading cause of genital ulceration, herpes genitalis plays a role in facilitating the transmission of HIV. Although HIV infection is most prevalent in Cameroon, information is lacking about prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 infection in this country.


The goal was to determine the prevalence of HSV-2-specific antibody in blood specimens from individuals in Cameroon.


Blood specimens were randomly collected from 410 clinic attendees (215 males, 195 females) in Douala, the most populous city in Cameroon. One hundred fifteen of the individuals (28.0%) were HIV-infected. Samples were tested by a type-common HSV IgG enzyme immunoassay not discriminating between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies and by two glycoprotein G-2-based enzyme immunoassays for detection of HSV-2-specific antibody.


All but three blood samples were positive for type-common HSV IgG antibodies. Sixty-seven specimens (16.3%) were concordantly negative for HSV-2 antibody by both assays, and 287 (70.0%) specimens were concordantly positive. Fifty-six specimens (13.7%) yielded discrepant results between the two assays.


On the basis of specimens with concordantly positive results, the overall HSV-2 seroprevalence was 70.0%. HSV-2 seroprevalence was significantly higher among HIV-infected individuals than among HIV-negative ones. Because of the serious morbidity and mortality caused by HSV-2, effective programs are needed to halt the spread of HSV-2 infection in Cameroon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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