Background Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is a common sexually transmitted infection worldwide, and its prevalence has increased significantly over the last 2 decades in many developed countries. The prevalence rates of HSV-2 infection differ between populations, however, HSV-2 seropositivity is uniformly higher in women than in men and increases with age.
Objectives Aim of the present study was to evaluate the seroprevalence of HSV-2 infection among various population groups in Siberia, Russia.
Methods A sample of 1014 persons aged 14–64 years (47% males) were randomly selected from the general population in urban Novosibirsk (predominantly Caucasians) and rural regions of Tyva and Altai Republic (predominantly persons of Asian origin). The study includes data obtained in 1994–2005. Sera were tested for IgG antibodies to HSV-2 infection with type-specific ELISA (VectoHSV-2 IgG, Vector-Best, Novosibirsk, Russia).
Results The overall prevalence of HSV-2 positivity was 21% being higher in females (26.4%) compared to males (17.0%, p=0.01). Seroprevalence rates increased with age from 0% at 14–17 years to 22.8% at 55–64 years in males and from 1.8% at 14–17 years to 31.6% at 55–64 years in females. Neither difference was observed between urban and rural population, nor in surveyed persons of Caucasian and Asian origin. Ten-year trend showed a decrease in the frequency of HSV-2 detection equally in different populations by 20%. In conclusion, HSV-2 is common in Russia with the prevalence rates close to USA and Scandinavian countries. The sex and age distribution of the infection in Russia is similar to other populations. In Siberia, ethnicity and standard of living do not influence HSV-2 prevalence.
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