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Short report
Clinical and epidemiological characterisation of lymphogranuloma venereum in southwest Spain, 2013–2015
  1. Manuel Parra-Sánchez1,
  2. Silvia García-Rey1,
  3. Isabel Pueyo Rodríguez2,
  4. Pompeyo Viciana Fernández3,
  5. María José Torres Sánchez4,
  6. José Carlos Palomares Folía1
  1. 1Unidad Clínica de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología (UCEIM), Hospital Universitario de Valme, Seville, Spain
  2. 2Centro de Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual de Sevilla (CITS), Seville, Spain
  3. 3Servicio Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica (UCEIM), Hospital Virgen del Rocío, Seville, Spain
  4. 4Microbiology Department, Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Manuel Parra-Sánchez, Unidad Clínica de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología (UCEIM), Hospital Universitario de Valme, Avenida de Bellavista SN, Seville 41014, Spain; manuel.parra.exts{at}


Objectives Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis L serovars have emerged in 2003 in Europe among HIV-positive men having sex with men (MSM). Our aim was to evaluate LGV prevalence and predictors in a high-risk population attending to two STI clinics in the southwest of Spain between December 2013 and April 2015.

Methods Screening of C. trachomatis using commercial kits was carried out, followed by real-time pmpH-PCR discriminating LGV strains, and finally ompA gene was sequenced for phylogenetic reconstruction.

Results A total of 6398 samples were tested, of which, 594 (9.3%) were C. trachomatis-positive specimens and successfully typed by pmpH PCR. Five hundred and eighty-one samples contained non-LGV and 13 (2.2%; 95% CI 1.3% to 3.7%) samples had LGV. One hundred and sixty-six (27.9%; 95% CI 24.5% to 31.7%) CT-positive results were found in MSM. All C. trachomatis LGV types were found in rectal samples from MSM (13/166, 7.8%; 95% CI 4.5% to 13.0%). Of these, five (38.5%; 95% CI 17.7% to 64.5%) patients were asymptomatic and 11 (84.6%; 95% CI 57.8% to 95.7%; p<0.001) were also HIV positive. Successful treatment of LGV was achieved in all patients including 11/13 (84.6%) who received single-dose azithromycin. All of the L types were confirmed to be genotype L2b with ompA PCR and sequencing.

Conclusions This analysis shows that LGV infections are occurring in MSM in southwest Spain, where no data about LGV have been described before, reinforcing the need for screening and genotyping for LGV. LGV should be taken into account when considering treatment and management of rectal C. trachomatis infections, including in asymptomatic HIV-positive MSM. Larger studies on appropriate treatment for asymptomatic LGV infection are needed.

  • HIV

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  • Handling editor Jackie A Cassell

  • Contributors MP-S and JCPF were involved in the design of the study. IPR and PVF were responsible for patient recruitment and data collection. MP-S and SG-R analysed the data. MJTS was involved in sample sequencing. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was conducted with the approval of the Ethics Committee of Hospital Universitario de Valme, Seville, Spain. Ethics committee approval number: VAL-2013-06UCEIM-ITS.

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