A Comparative Study of the Epidemiology of Treponemal Infection in the Volta and Oti Regions of Ghana: A Five-Year Multisite Parallel Population-Based Analysis vis-à-vis the Sentinel Survey

Treponemal infections can be blood-borne with great public health consequences. This study is aimed at comparatively describing the five-year (2013-2017) regional epidemiology of treponemal infection using pregnant women in the sentinel survey and apparently healthy blood donors as a proxy for the general population at four sentinel sites in the Volta and Oti Regions of Ghana. We analyzed retrospective data from 17,744 prospective blood donors aged 18 to 58 years and 7,817 pregnant women in a sentinel survey with ages from 15 to 49 years at Hohoe, Ho, Tongu, and Krachi West sentinel sites in the Volta and Oti Regions. Laboratory data extracted include variables such as age, gender, date of blood donation, and Treponema pallidum chromatographic immunoassay results from the blood banks of the four study sites. The five-year treponemal infection rate among the pregnant women in the sentinel survey and prospective blood donors was 0.79% and 2.38%, respectively. Site-specific infection rate for population-based/sentinel survey was 4.6%/1.1%, 2.0%/0.5%, 1.3%/1.1, and 1.2%/0.3% for Hohoe, Ho, Krachi West, and Tongu, respectively. Significant gender disparity in Treponemal infection rate exists with a male preponderance. The regional infection rate in the sentinel survey is lower compared to the general population. Therefore, the use of pregnant women as a proxy for population estimates could underestimate the burden in the study jurisdiction.
This article is published by Hindawi, 2021 and is also available at https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/4462389
BioMed Research International Volume 2021