Molecular Epidemiology and Risk Factors of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 in Pregnant Women


Molecular epidemiology
Herpes simplex virus
Pregnant women
Risk factor




Background: Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is the main cause of genital and neonatal herpes infections. It has considerable public health importance among women as the virus may lead to adverse outcomes in pregnancy and neonatal infection. This study determines the molecular epidemiology and risk factors of HSV-2 infection among pregnant women. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, all pregnant women admitted to three university hospitals for natural birth and Caesarean sections were enrolled. HSV detection and typing were carried out based on PCR and reverse dot blotting method, respectively. ANOVA and bivariate correlations were used to analyze the data. Results: In this study, the prevalence of genital herpes infection was 5.7%. A significant positive correlation was found between age group < 25 years and HSV-2 shedding (P = 0.026). Twelve participants (60%) with HSV-2 shedding were younger than 25. A significant correlation was found between the presence of genital lesion and HSV-2 (? = 0.02). Among participants with HSV-2 infection, the use of condom was low. Neonatal complications were not seen in newborns from mothers with HSV-2 shedding. Conclusion: PCR assay may help in promoting early diagnosis and more effective treatment for patients. Also, it shortens hospital stay and enhances patients’ condition. HSV-2 transmission is rapid following the onset of sexual activity and likely to result in the significant prevalence of genital disease.


Nyiro JU, Sanders EJ, Ngetsa C, et al., 2011, Seroprevalence, Predictors and Estimated Incidence of Maternal and Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection in Semi-Urban Women in Kilifi, Kenya. BMC Infectious Diseases, 11(1): 155.

Nabavinia MS, Rostami S, Ghasemi F, et al., 2015, Application of McCoy Cell Line for Propagation of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1. Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, 40(3): 268-271.

Alsamarai AM, Khalil Z, Aljumaili M, 2013, Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes Simplex Virus-2 in Women with Bad Obstetric History. Part I: Toxoplasma and Rubella Infections. Our Dermatology Online, 4(4): 522-535.

Gardella C, Brown Z, 2011, Prevention of Neonatal Herpes. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 118(2): 187-192.

Jamehdar SA, Mammouri G, Hoseini MRS, et al., 2014, Herpes Simplex Virus Infection in Neonates and Young Infants with Sepsis. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 16(2): e14310.

Aliabadi N, Jamalidoust M, Asaei S, et al., 2015, Diagnosing of Herpes Simplex Virus Infections in Suspected Patients Using Real-Time PCR. Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology, 8(2): e16727.

Amar OAO, Bajaj HK, Gupta N, et al., 2015, Prevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus in Pregnant Women from Gangetic Plain Region of Allahabad, India. Advances in Microbiology, 5(6): 404.

Borhani MS, Hosseini SM, Bagheri R, et al., 2012, PCR Detection of Herpes Simplex Virus in Human Placenta and Aborted Materials in Patients with Spontaneous Abortion. Archives of Clinical Infectious Diseases, 6(4): 17-20.

Shyamala G, Sowmya P, Sudha B, et al., 2005, Application of Polymerase Chain Reaction to Differentiate Herpes Simplex Virus 1 And 2 Serotypes in Culture Negative Intraocular Aspirates. Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology, 23(4): 239-244.

LeGoff J, Péré H, Bélec L, 2014, Diagnosis of Genital Herpes Simplex Virus Infection in the Clinical Laboratory. Virology Journal, 11(1): 83.

Rezaei-Chaparpordi S, Assmar M, Amirmozafari N, et al., 2012, Seroepidemiology of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and 2 In Northern Iran. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 41(8): 75.

Cowan F, French R, Mayaud P, et al., 2003, Seroepidemiological Study of Herpes Simplex Virus Types 1 and 2 in Brazil, Estonia, India, Morocco, and Sri Lanka. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 79(4): 286-290.

Biswas D, Borkakoty B, Mahanta J, et al., 2011, Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Herpes Simplex Virus Type-2 Infection among Pregnant Women in Northeast India. BMC Infectious Diseases, 11: 325.

Corey L, Wald A, 2009, Maternal and Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infections. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(14): 1376-1385.

Duran N, Yarkin F, Evruke C, et al., 2004, Asymptomatic Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) Infection among Pregnant Women in Turkey. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 120(2): 106-110.

Brown ZA, Wald A, Morrow RA, et al., 2003, Effect of Serologic Status and Cesarean Delivery on Transmission Rates of Herpes Simplex Virus from Mother to Infant. Jama, 289(2): 203-209.

Eskild A, Jeansson S, Stray?Pedersen B, et al., 2002, Herpes Simplex Virus Type?2 Infection in Pregnancy: No Risk of Fetal Death: Results from a Nested Case-Control Study within 35,940 Women. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 109(9): 1030-1035.

Glass N, Nelson H, Huffman L, 2005, Screening for Genital Herpes Simplex: Brief Update for the US Preventive Services Task Force, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.