Sexually transmitted infections and behavioral determinants of sexual and reproductive health in the allahabad district (India) based on data from the chlamindia study

Pierre P. M. Thomas, Jay Yadav, Rajiv Kant, Elena Ambrosino, Smita Srivastava, Gurpreet Batra, Arvind Dayal, Nidhi Masih, Akash Pandey, Saurav Saha, Roel Heijmans, Jonathan A. Lal, Servaas A. Morré

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Abstract

Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (CT and NG, respectively) are linked to an important sexual and reproductive health (SRH) burden worldwide. Behavior is an important predictor for SRH, as it dictates the risk for STIs. Assessing the behavior of a population helps to assess its risk profile. Methods: Study participants were recruited at a gynecology outpatient department (OPD) in the Allahabad district in Uttar Pradesh India, and a questionnaire was used to assess demographics, SRH, and obstetric history. Patients provided three samples (urine, vaginal swab, and whole blood). These samples were used to identify CT and NG using PCR/NAAT and CT IgG ELISA. Results: A total of 296 women were included for testing; mean age was 29 years. No positive cases of CT and NG were observed using PCR/NAAT. A 7% (22/296) positivity rate for CT was observed using IgG ELISA. No positive association was found between serology and symptoms (vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, dysuria, and dyspareunia) or adverse pregnancy outcomes (miscarriage and stillbirth). Positive relations with CT could be observed with consumption of alcohol, illiteracy, and tenesmus (p-value 0.02–0.03). Discussion: STI prevalence in this study was low, but a high burden of SRH morbidity was observed, with a high symptomatic load. High rates of miscarriage (31%) and stillbirth (8%) were also observed among study subjects. No associations could be found between these ailments and CT infection. These rates are high even for low-and middle-income country standards. Conclusion: This study puts forward high rates of SRH morbidity, and instances of adverse reproductive health outcomes are highlighted in this study, although no associations with CT infection could be found. This warrants more investigation into the causes leading to these complaints in the Indian scenario and potential biases to NAAT testing, such as consumption of over-the-counter antimicrobials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number557
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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