Cytological versus serological diagnosis of Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 infection among women with cervicitis without external genital ulcer or blistering lesions in Hawler Maternity Teaching Hospital
Keywords:Pap smear, Herpes simplex virus type 2
Background and objective: Herpes simplex virus type 2 linked to the genital tract infection may produce significant acute or chronic cervicitis. Identification of the virus is important due to its association with genital tract disease and sexual transmission. The virus establishes lifelong latency with periodic reactivation. Therefore, it causes significant physical and psychological morbidity. The aim of this study was to assess and compare cytological examination with serological test in the diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus type 2.
Methods: This study included 104 women. Pap smear was collected from 24 healthy women as a control group (group A), 40 patients with severe cervicitis on cytological examination (group B) and 40 patients with atypical cervicitis (group C). Blood sample was obtained from the patients and the control group and tested for Herpes simplex virus type 2 specific serology. The ages of the studied groups ranged from 21-53 years. They were referred to the Maternity Teaching Hospital and private laboratories in Erbil city, Kurdistan region, Iraq during the period from December 2011 to December 2012.
Results: Herpes simplex virus type 2 IgG antibodies were found in 10 sera from patients with nonspecific cervicitis (group-B) and only in three patients with atypical cervicitis (group-C). No positive serological test was identified in the control group. All Pap smear results showed features suggestive of cervicitis but without viral cytopathic herpetic changes.
Conclusion: The serological test was superior to cytology for the diagnosis of Herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in women presented with cervicitis with no clinically apparent genital ulcer or blisters.
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