Sexually transmitted diseases among randomly selected attenders at an antenatal clinic in The Gambia

Br J Vener Dis. 1984 Oct;60(5):331-6. doi: 10.1136/sti.60.5.331.


One hundred randomly selected women attending a free government antenatal clinic in the town of Bakau, The Gambia, were examined. Vaginal swabs were taken for microscopical examination for Trichomonas vaginalis and for culture on Sabouraud's medium. Cervical swabs were taken for culture of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis and, in 50 cases, Herpesvirus hominis; in addition, urethral swabs were taken for culture of N gonorrhoeae. Serum samples were tested for antibodies to Treponema pallidum by the Venereal Diseases Research Laboratory (VDRL) test and T pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA), and to C trachomatis and H hominis by microimmunofluorescence. The prevalence of infection with Candida albicans was found to be 35%, T vaginalis 32%, C trachomatis 6.9%, N gonorrhoeae 6.7%, T pallidum 1%, and H hominis 0%. IgG antibodies at a titre of at least 1/16 to C trachomatis serotypes D-K were found in 29.4%, and to serotypes A-C in a further 10.6%. IgG antibodies at a titre of at least 1/16 to H hominis type I were found in 94%, and to type II in 53%, although a proportion of the latter probably represent cross reacting antibodies to type I.

PIP: 100 randomly selected attenders of a free government antenatal clinic in Bakau, Gambia, were examined between November 1981 and February 1982, to discover the prevalence of a variety of sexually transmitted diseases (STDS). The age, tribal origin, and obstetric history of each patient were recorded. Patients were asked specifically about the presence of lower abdominal pains, vaginal discharge, and pain on passing urine. A vaginal speculum was passed and specimens were taken for Trichomonas vaginalis, Candida albicans, Neisseria gonorrhea, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Herpesvirus hominis. An abnormal vaginal discharge was noted on examination in 67 patients; only 24 of these patients had complained of discharge. The prevalence of infection was 35% with Candida abicans, 32% with Trichomonas vaginalis, 6.9% with Chlamydia trachomatis, 6.7% with Neisseria gonorrhea, and 0% with Herpesvirus hominis. IgG antibodies to H hominis type I were present. At a titre of at least 1.16 in 94% of women tested and to type II in 52.9% tested.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / immunology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Gambia
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Simplexvirus / immunology
  • Simplexvirus / isolation & purification
  • Treponema pallidum / immunology
  • Vagina / microbiology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G