Prevalence of yaws and syphilis in the Ashanti region of Ghana and occurrence of H. ducreyi, herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 in skin lesions associated with treponematoses

Agyekum Boaitey, Y., Alex Owusu-Ofori,, Amarachukwu Anyogu, Farhang Aghakhanian, Natasha Arora, Jonathan B. Parr, Philipp P. Bosshard, Saki Raheem and Pascale Gerbault 2024. Prevalence of yaws and syphilis in the Ashanti region of Ghana and occurrence of H. ducreyi, herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 in skin lesions associated with treponematoses. PLoS ONE. 19 (5) e0295088. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0295088

TitlePrevalence of yaws and syphilis in the Ashanti region of Ghana and occurrence of H. ducreyi, herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 in skin lesions associated with treponematoses
TypeJournal article
AuthorsAgyekum Boaitey, Y., Alex Owusu-Ofori,, Amarachukwu Anyogu, Farhang Aghakhanian, Natasha Arora, Jonathan B. Parr, Philipp P. Bosshard, Saki Raheem and Pascale Gerbault
Abstract

Yaws affects children in tropical regions, while syphilis primarily affects sexually active adults worldwide. Despite various campaigns towards the eradication of yaws and elimination of syphilis, these two diseases are still present in Ghana. The aetiological agents of both diseases, two Treponema pallidum subspecies, are genetically similar. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of these treponematoses and the occurrence of pathogens causing similar skin lesions in the Ashanti region of Ghana. A point-of-care test was used to determine the seroprevalence of the treponematoses. Both yaws and syphilis were identified in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Multiplex PCR was used to identify treponemes and other pathogens that cause similar skin lesions. The results indicated that the seroprevalences of T. pallidum in individuals with yaws-like and syphilis-like lesions were 17.2% and 10.8%, respectively. Multiplex PCR results showed that 9.1%, 1.8% and 0.9% of yaws-like lesions were positive for Haemophilus ducreyi, herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and T. pallidum respectively. Among syphilis-like lesions, 28.3% were positive for herpes simplex virus -2 (HSV-2) by PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first time HSV-I and HSV-2 have been reported from yaws-like and syphilis-like lesions, respectively, in Ghana. The presence of other organisms apart from T. pallidum in yaws-like and syphilis-like lesions could impede the total healing of these lesions and the full recovery of patients. This may complicate efforts to achieve yaws eradication by 2030 and the elimination of syphilis and warrants updated empirical treatment guidelines for skin ulcer diseases.

Article numbere0295088
JournalPLoS ONE
Journal citation19 (5)
ISSN1932-6203
Year2024
PublisherPLoS
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0295088
PubMed ID38776332
Web address (URL)https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0295088
Publication dates
Published22 May 2024
FunderRoyal Society

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