Introduction Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) has become prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Europe since an outbreak in The Netherlands in 2003. The aim of this study was to describe the development of LGV in relation to HIV since 2004, and genotypes of LGV and other Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) genovars in a MSM population in 2014/15.
Methods All testing for LGV in Sweden is referred to Uppsala University Hospital. LGV-specific pmpH-gene PCR was used for detection. High-resolution genotyping based on ompA gene and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed on all Ct-positive cases from an STI clinic for MSM in Stockholm between 1.9. 2014 and 1.7.2015.
Results The annual numbers of detected LGV cases in Sweden were 2 in 2004 to 2006, between 5 and 20 in 2007 to 2012, and between 23 and 38 in 2013 to 2016. The number of LGV-tests increased from 68 in 2008 to 268 in 2016. During the study in 2014/15 31 LGV cases were identified in 309 patients with successful PCR-results. In 39% (12/31) LGV was unexpected and had not been detected without extended screening. The HIV-prevalence among LGV-positive patients decreased from 88% 2006–2013% to 68% 2014–2015. Of ompA genotyped LGV cases 69% were L2% and 31% were L2b type. This contrasts to earlier Swedish and European data from 2004–2009 when only L2b was found. Complete genotyping, including ompA and MLST, was obtained for 151 patients with non-LGV Ct and resulted in genovar D, 27%; E, 14%; G, 30% and J 21%. MLST resulted in 27 STs of which 3 predominated and accounted for 51%. Eight STs were new when compared to the database http://mlstdb.bmc.uu.se comprising 540 STs from >3300 specimens.
Conclusion In Sweden LGV has gone from sporadic import cases to a probable endemic spread among HIV-negative MSM, which emphasises the need for LGV-testing This emphasises the need for LGV-testing within this high risk group. LGV has developed from being of clonal nature to occur as different strains among MSM.
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