Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Seroprevalence among Different National Populations of Middle East and North African Males.
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BACKGROUND: There are limited data on herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seroprevalence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We examined country- and age-specific HSV-2 seroprevalence among select MENA populations residing in Qatar. METHODS: Sera were collected from male blood donors attending Hamad Medical Corporation June 2013-2016. Specimens were screened for anti-HSV-2 IgG antibodies following a two-test algorithm: HerpeSelect® 2 ELISA was used to identify HSV-2 positive specimens, and Euroline-WB was used to confirm positive and equivocal specimens for final HSV-2 status. Trends and associations with HSV-2 seropositivity were assessed. RESULTS: Of the 2077 tested sera, 61 were found and confirmed positive. The proportion confirmed positive increased steadily with HerpeSelect® 2 ELISA index value, ranging from 16.3% for index values 1.101-1.999 to 92.9% for index values ≥4. Nationality-specific seroprevalence was 6.0% (95% confidence interval (CI), 4.1-8.8%) in Qataris, 5.3% (95% CI, 2.5-11.1%) in Iranians, 4.2% (95% CI, 1.8-9.5%) in Lebanese, 3.1% (95% CI, 1.2-7.7%) in Sudanese, 3.0% (95% CI, 1.4-6.4%) in Palestinians, 2.2% (95% CI, 1.1-4.3%) in Egyptians, 2.0% (95% CI, 1.0-5.0%) in Syrians, 1.0% (95% CI, 0.3-3.6%) in Jordanians, 0.7% (95% CI, 0.1-3.7%) in Yemenis, and 0.5% (95% CI, 0.1-2.8%) in Pakistanis. There was evidence for higher seroprevalence in older age groups. CONCLUSION: HSV-2 seroprevalence was in the range of few percentage points. There were no major differences in seroprevalence by nationality. These findings inform our understanding of HSV-2 epidemiology in MENA, and indicate unmet needs for sexual health and control of sexually transmitted infections.