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Genotyping of Chlamydia trachomatis in rectal and pharyngeal specimens: identification of LGV genotypes in Finland
  1. Suvi Korhonen1,
  2. Eija Hiltunen-Back2,3,
  3. Mirja Puolakkainen1,4
  1. 1Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2Clinic of Venereal Diseases, Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Department of Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
  4. 4Department of Virology and Immunology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Laboratory Division (HUSLAB), Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mirja Puolakkainen, Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FIN-00014, Finland; mirja.puolakkainen{at}


Objectives Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis L types have recently emerged in Europe among HIV-positive men having sex with men. Our aim was to introduce a genotyping strategy suitable for a diagnostic laboratory using nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for detection of C trachomatis and to investigate the prevalence of LGV types in rectal and pharyngeal specimens in Finland.

Methods Aptima Combo 2 (Gen-Probe) was used to detect C trachomatis in swabs. Altogether 140 C trachomatis NAAT-positive rectal and pharyngeal samples were genotyped by pmpH and ompA real-time PCR.

Results Of the 140 NAAT-positive rectal and pharyngeal specimens, 114 (81%) were successfully typed by pmpH PCR. One hundred and four samples contained non-LGV, nine samples LGV and one sample both non-LGV and LGV C trachomatis types. The C trachomatis LGV types were mainly found in rectal samples. Six of the L types were confirmed to be genotype L2b and two were L2 with ompA PCR and sequencing.

Conclusions Our experience suggests that genotyping C trachomatis by pmpH PCR can be introduced as a function of a diagnostic laboratory already using NAAT for detection of C trachomatis. The data show that LGV infections occur also in Finland. LGV should be taken into account when considering treatment and management of rectal C trachomatis infections.

  • Chlamydia trachomatis infections
  • lymphogranuloma venereum
  • genotyping
  • PCR
  • chlamydia infection
  • molecular epidemiology
  • syphilis
  • mycoplasma
  • gonorrhoea
  • chlamydia
  • STD

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  • Presented in part: 12th International Symposium on Human Chlamydial Infections, Hof bei Salzburg, Austria, June 2010 (abstract pp. 405–408).

  • Funding This study was supported by an R&D grant from Helsinki University Central Hospital, Laboratory Division (HUSLAB), MLE82TK013, by The Finnish Society against Sexually Transmitted Diseases and by the Academy of Finland in the frame of the ERA-NET PathoGenoMics, #217554/ECIBUG and #130043/ChlamyTrans.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The Ethics Committee, Department of Medicine at Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.