[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Genital Ulcer Disease (GUD) is an important public health problem, whose interaction with HIV results in mutually enhancing epidemics. Conventional methods for detecting HSV tend to be slow and insensitive. We designed a rapid PCR-based assay to quantify and type HSV in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) fluid of subjects attending a Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic. Vaginal swabs, CVL fluid and venous blood were collected. Quantitative detection of HSV was conducted using real time PCR with HSV specific primers and SYBR Green I. Fluorogenic TaqMan Minor Groove Binder (MGB) probes designed around a single base mismatch in the HSV DNA polymerase I gene were used to type HSV in a separate reaction. The Kalon test was used to detect anti-HSV-2 IgG antibodies in serum. Testing for HIV, other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and related infections was based on standard clinical and laboratory methods.
Seventy consecutive GUM clinic attendees were studied. Twenty-seven subjects (39%) had detectable HSV DNA in CVL fluid; HSV-2 alone was detected in 19 (70%) subjects, HSV-1 alone was detected in 4 (15%) subjects and both HSV types were detected in 4 (15%) subjects. Eleven out of 27 subjects (41%) with anti-HSV-2 IgG had detectable HSV-2 DNA in CVL fluid. Seven subjects (10%) were HIV-positive. Three of seven (43%) HIV-infected subjects and two of five subjects with GUD (40%) were secreting HSV-2. None of the subjects in whom HSV-1 was detected had GUD.
Quantitative real-time PCR and Taqman MGB probes specific for HSV-1 or -2 were used to develop an assay for quantification and typing of HSV. The majority of subjects in which HSV was detected had low levels of CVL fluid HSV, with no detectable HSV-2 antibodies and were asymptomatic.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trachoma, caused by repeated ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis, is an important cause of blindness. Current recommended dosing intervals for mass azithromycin treatment for trachoma are based on a mathematical model.
We collected conjunctival swabs for quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction assay of C. trachomatis before and 2, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after mass treatment with azithromycin in a Tanzanian community in which trachoma was endemic. For ethical reasons, at 6, 12, and 18 months, we gave tetracycline eye ointment to residents who had clinically active trachoma.
At baseline, 956 of 978 residents (97.8 percent) received either one oral dose of azithromycin or (if azithromycin was contraindicated) a course of tetracycline eye ointment. The prevalence of infection fell from 9.5 percent before mass treatment to 2.1 percent at 2 months and 0.1 percent at 24 months. The quantitative burden of ocular C. trachomatis infection in the community was 13.9 percent of the pretreatment level at 2 months and 0.8 percent at 24 months. At each time point after baseline, over 90 percent of the total community burden of C. trachomatis infection was found among subjects who had been positive the previous time they were tested.
The prevalence and intensity of infection fell dramatically and remained low for two years after treatment. One round of very-high-coverage mass treatment with azithromycin, perhaps aided by subsequent periodic use of tetracycline eye ointment for persons with active disease, can interrupt the transmission of ocular C. trachomatis infection.
New England Journal of Medicine 12/2004; 351(19):1962-71. · 51.66 Impact Factor