The natural course of chlamydia trachomatis, neisseria gonorrhoeae, trichomonas vaginalis, and mycoplasma genitalium in pregnant and post-delivery women in Pemba island, Tanzania
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This study aimed to determine the persistence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) infections during pregnancy and after delivery in vaginal swabs of women from Pemba Island, Tanzania. In the context of an earlier biobanking effort, vaginal swabs were collected at two timepoints during pregnancy and once post-delivery. Detection of CT, NG, TV, and MG was performed by PCR using validated detection kits in samples from 441 pregnant women aged 16–48 years old. Among those, 202 samples were matched during pregnancy and 38 at the second timepoint of the pregnancy and post-delivery CT infection persistence during pregnancy was 100% (n = 11) after an average of eight weeks, that of TV infection 82% (n = 11) after ten weeks, and that of MG infection 75% (n = 4) after ten weeks. Post-delivery (after approximately 22 weeks) infection persistence was 100% for CT (n = 1) and 20% for TV (n = 5). NG was only detected at the last collection timepoint, its persistence rate could not be determined. These results show persistence and clearance of curable infections during and after pregnancy. Analysis of biobanked samples is a valuable approach in the investigation of the natural history of curable pathogens.