Pregnancy Outcomes in Association with STDs including genital HSV-2 shedding in a South African Cohort Study.
Moodley D., Sartorius B., Madurai S., Chetty V., Maman S.
<h4>Objectives</h4>Genital herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) shedding in pregnant women in association with neonatal herpes infection has been widely studied but there is limited evidence of its association with pregnancy outcomes.<h4>Methods</h4>In <b>t</b>his retrospective observational study, we included a subgroup of pregnant women who were enrolled in a randomized control behavioural intervention study that was conducted in South Africa in 2008-2010. In pregnancy, women had a HIV rapid test done and a genital swab taken to test for curable STIs and HSV-2 DNA. Subsequent visits were scheduled for 6, 10, 14 weeks and 9 months post-delivery. Pregnancy outcomes were documented at the 6-week or 10-week postpartum visit. Women were treated syndromically for curable STIs.<h4>Results</h4>Among 615 women included in this data analysis, 36.6% (n=225) tested HIV positive and 8.3% (n=51) tested positive for genital HSV-2 shedding during pregnancy. Women <24 years and HIV-1 seropositive women were 1.5 and 2.5 times more likely to test positive for HSV-2 genital shedding respectively. STI treatment records were available for 158/205 (77.1%) women; all 87 women with symptomatic STIs were treated the same day, and 50/71 (70.4%) asymptomatic women received treatment at the subsequent visit. Remaining 21 (29.6%) asymptomatic women did not receive treatment because they failed to return for antenatal follow-up. In a multivariable regression analysis, genital HSV-2 shedding, HIV-1, <i>Neisseria gonorrhoea</i>, <i>Chlamydia trachomatis</i> and <i>Trichomanas vaginalis</i> were not associated with preterm deliveries, still births and low birth weight. However with stratification by treatment for a STI, asymptomatic women who were not treated were 3.3 times more likely to deliver prematurely (33.3%; n=6/18) when compared to women who were treated during pregnancy (13.2%; n=15/114) (p=0.042).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Genital HSV-2 shedding in pregnancy does not appear to alter pregnancy outcomes. Untreated curable STIs (<i>T.vaginalis, C.trachomatis, N.gonorrhoea</i>) were more likely associated with preterm births.