Objectives: To describe the prevalence and epidemiology of gonococcal infection in young subjects attending community clinics in South-East London.
Methods: Subjects <25 years of age participating in the National Chlamydia Screening Programme were tested for gonococcal infection using a nucleic acid amplification test (strand displacement amplification assay).
Results: 10 523 tests were performed in 7369 patients (82% female) over a 2-year period in 2004 and 2005. Specimens used for tests were self-taken vulvovaginal swabs (43%), cervical swabs (40%), urine (16%) and urethral swabs (0.9%). Reasons for tests were: screening (67%), diagnosis (27%) and contacts of patients with chlamydia or gonococcus infection (7%). A significantly higher percentage of male subjects were tested as contacts (19% male vs 4% female; p<0.001). Of the 10 117 cases with definite results, 414 were positive (prevalence 4.1%, 95% CI 3.7% to 4.5%). There was a significantly higher prevalence in male subjects (5.7% male v 3.8% female; p<0.001). The average number of tests was 1.4 per patient (range 1–10). Contacts had a significantly higher prevalence (15.5%, p<0.001) than those tested for diagnostic (3.6%) or screening (3.1%) purposes. Multivariate regression analysis confirmed that there was a significantly higher prevalence in black Caribbean (5.8%, OR 2.44), black British/other black (5.6%, OR 2.33) and mixed (5.5%, OR 2.25) than white (2.4%) ethnic groups (p<0.001). Increasing age was significantly associated with lower prevalence (OR = 0.87; 95% CI 0.84 to 0.91; p<0.001). The odds of a positive test decreased by 13% for every year older.
Conclusion: A community-screening programme has detected a high prevalence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in South London, especially in teenagers, male subjects and certain ethnic groups.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.