Susceptibility of Middle Adolescent Females to Sexually Transmitted infections: Impact of Hormone Contraception and Sexual Behaviors on Vaginal Immunity
Article first published online: 11 JUL 2007
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 58, Issue 2, pages 159–168, August 2007
How to Cite
Barousse, M. M., Theall, K. P., Van Der Pol, B., Fortenberry, J. D., Orr, D. P. and Fidel, P. L. (2007), Susceptibility of Middle Adolescent Females to Sexually Transmitted infections: Impact of Hormone Contraception and Sexual Behaviors on Vaginal Immunity. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 58: 159–168. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2007.00504.x
- Issue published online: 11 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 11 JUL 2007
- Submitted December 20, 2006; accepted May 9, 2007.
- Adolescent behaviors;
- sexually transmitted infections;
- vaginal immunity
Problem The resistance and/or susceptibility to infections can be influenced by patterns of immunomodulators. Based on this and the high rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in adolescents, we examined the longitudinal relationship between sexual behaviors, hormonal contraceptive use, and bacterial vaginosis (BV) with vaginal-associated immunomodulators in adolescent females.
Method of study Over 27 months, subjects completed detailed questionnaires, and consented to vaginal swabs for STI testing, and vaginal lavages for identification of immunomodulators including T-helper, proinflammatory, and chemokines. Concentrations of immunomodulators were correlated with each parameter together with prevalence of STIs.
Results Each parameter had a limited influence on vaginal immunomodulators with no evidence of any pattern(s) associated with infection. Conversely, the local presence of proinflammatory cytokines and neutrophils in those with an STI indicated some immune responsiveness.
Conclusion Sexual behaviors, contraceptive usage, and BV do not appear as factors in susceptibility of adolescents to STIs through the influence of local immunomodulators.