Table 2

Estimated costs of serological screening for HSV-2 in pregnant women and their partners as strategy for preventing neonatal herpes

HSV-2 prevalence in pregnancy and the risk of seroconversion during pregnancyNo of cases of neonatal herpes prevented*Total cost of screening*Cost/case prevented ($)
*Per million deliveries.
(1) Calculations based on the probability estimates derived by Randolph et al and HSV-2 seroprevalence and seroconversion rates in Seattle7 and Sydney (present study).
(2) Cost of serology $10.
(3) Screening costs include screening all women, then screening the partners of all negative women (720 000 men in Seattle and 880 000 in Sydney) and finally rescreening all women with positive partners (201 600 women in Seattle and 105 600 in Sydney).
(4) Strategy will prevent all cases of neonatal herpes.
(5) HSV-2 seroprevalence in male partners is identical to the women.
(6) All other costs were excluded including counselling patients with positive serology, increased administration and recall, excess caesarean sections.
(7) Only HSV-2 has been included.
(8) All partners of HSV-2 negative women are tested for antibodies to HSV-2.
(9) All HSV-2 negative women whose partners are HSV-2 positive are retested in late pregnancy
Prevalence 28%73 (26–135)$19.21 million263 000 (142 000–739 000)
Seroconversion rate 1.89%*
Prevalence 12%20 (7–38)$19.85 million992 500 (522 000–2 850 000)
Seroconversion rate 0.34%*