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Seroprevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Types 1 and 2 Among Pregnant Women and Sexually Active, Nonpregnant Women in the United States
  • Published Date:
    Oct 30 2018
  • Source:
    Clin Infect Dis. 67(10):1535-1542
  • Language:
    English


Public Access Version Available on: October 30, 2019 information icon
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    29668856
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6369524
  • Description:
    Background.

    Neonatal herpes is a rare, devastating consequence of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or 2 (HSV-2) infection during pregnancy. The risk of neonatal infection is higher among pregnant women seronegative for HSV-1 or HSV-2 who acquire their first HSV infection near delivery.

    Methods.

    We estimated HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence among pregnant women aged 20–39 years in 1999–2014, assessed HSV seroprevalence changes between 1999–2006 and 2007–2014, and compared HSV seroprevalence between pregnant women and sexually active, nonpregnant women aged 20–39 years in 2007–2014 using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.

    Results.

    Among pregnant women in 1999–2014, HSV-1 seroprevalence was 59.3%, HSV-2 seroprevalence was 21.1%, and HSV seronegativity was 30.6%. Between 1999–2006 and 2007–2014, HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence among pregnant women remained stable. However, among pregnant women with ≤3 sex partners (approximately 40% of all pregnant women), seronegativity for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 increased from 35.6% to 51.4% (P < .05). In 2007–2014, nonpregnant women who were (1) unmarried, (2) living below poverty level, or (3) had ≥4 sex partners were more likely than pregnant women to be seronegative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 (P < .05).

    Conclusions.

    HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence among US pregnant women remained stable between 1999 and 2014. However, pregnant women with fewer sex partners were increasingly seronegative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2, indicating an increasing proportion of pregnant women who are vulnerable to primary HSV acquisition in pregnancy, which confers an increased risk of transmitting HSV to their neonates.

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