Document Type : Research Article


Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Zakho, Kurdistan Region, Iraq


Background: In pregnant women, primary infection with rubella and herpes virus may lead to serious complications, including abortion, stillbirth, and severe birth defect. The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence of rubella and herpes IgG and IgM antibodies in pregnant women.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Zakho city, Kurdistan, Iraq. A total of 200 women aged 18-45 years with a history of miscarriage and stillbirth were recruited. Samples were collected from Private Clinical Health Centre at Zakho City between January 2015 and December 2018. All samples were then tested by Enzyme Linked Fluorescent Assay (ELFA) (VIDAS instrument) for detection of rubella and herpes specific IgG and IgM classes of antibodies.

Results: Of the total study participants, 166 (83%) were seropositive for anti-rubella IgG antibodies while nine (4.5%) were positive for anti-rubella IgM antibodies. In addition, seroprevalence of IgG and IgM antibodies to Herpes simplex virus was observed in 154 (77%) and 10 (5%) subjects, respectively. As far as age is concerned, the highest seropositivity of specific IgG and IgM antibodies to Rubella and Herpes was found in participants younger than 30 years, but statistically not significant differences were found.

Conclusion: This study provided pilot data on Rubella and Herpes virus infections among women in Zakho city, Kurdistan, Iraq. Data from the present study showed a high anti-Rubella and Herpes IgG and a low IgM positivity in the recruited subjects. Screening women with miscarriage or stillbirth might be conducive to specifying the causes of abortion or stillbirth.