Introduction Following the emergence of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) proctitis in the Netherlands in 2003, a voluntary surveillance system for LGV has been established in France. Based on the data of the National Reference Centre (NRC) for chlamydiae, Bordeaux, France, this study aimed to describe the epidemiology of LGV and non-LGV ano-rectal infection in France and to examine the characteristics of affected populations.
Methods The French surveillance network includes clinicians, biologists and NRC. Biologists sent rectal CT-positive samples to the NRC where the strains were typed by using two real-time PCR targeting pmpH gene specific of L and L2b strains. Biologists and clinicians performed a document on patient‘s clinical, biological and behavioural data. Clinical, biological and sexual risk behavioural variables were compared in men with LGV and with non-LGV cases according the HIV status using appropriate statistical tests over the period 2010–2015.
Results A total of 2627 LGV cases and 2633 non LGV cases were recorded from 2004 to 2015. In the period 2010 to 2015, there were 1747 LGV episodes in 1570 patients, most of whom were known to be HIV-positive (841/1105, 76.1%) and 2242 non LGV episodes in 2051 patients, most of whom were known to be HIV-negative (1186/1665, 71.2%). The number of LGV diagnoses was multiplied by 2.4 between 2012 and 2015 and the number of recurrence reached 10% in 2015. LGV continues to affect a core group: HIV-infected MSM who engage in high-risk sexual practices. They were older and more often infected with syphilis than men with non-LGV cases, were usually symptomatic and mainly lived in Paris. Those who acquired LGV reinfection had concurrent hepatitis C and syphilis more often than those with a single episode.
Conclusion A steady annual increase in the number of LGV cases and in the number of LGV recurrences was observed since 2012, demonstrating that the LGV epidemic is not under control and requires providing better information about the disease to affected patients and physicians of all specialties who take care them