Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. LGV is caused by serotypes L1, L2, and L3 of the bacteria Chlamydia trichromatic. These serotypes differ from those that cause trachoma, inclusion conjunctivitis, urethritis, and cervicitis because they can invade and reproduce in regional lymph nodes.
Once infected there is an incubation period of anywhere from 3 days to 6 weeks (on average 10-14 days) before any signs or symptoms become apparent.
Its symptoms include three stages are as follows:
- In first stage, a small skin lesion at site of entry, small painless papule appears. Ulcerates, heals and disappears within a few days and remain unnoticed.
- In second stage inguinal lymph nodes on one or both the sides starts enlarging, forming large, may have fever and malaise sometimes whereas in women, backache or pelvic pain is common. The initial lesions may be on the cervix or upper vagina.
- In Third stage, women suffer from fever, pain, itching, and pus-filled or bloody diarrhea. Its chronic infection result in severe scaring causing major deformation of the genitals.
LGV is suspected in patients who have genital ulcers, swollen inguinal lymph nodes, or proctitis and who live in, have visited, or have sexual contact with people from areas where infection is common. Serologic testing may not be specific for serotype (has some cross reactivity with other chlamydia species) and can suggest LGV from other forms because of their difference in dilution, 1:64 more likely to be LGV and lower than 1:16 is likely to be other chlamydia forms (medicine). An oozing, abnormal connection (fistula) in the rectal area, drainage through the skin from lymph nodes in the groin If polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on infected material are positive, subsequent restriction endonuclease pattern analysis of the amplified outer membrane protein A gene can be done to determine the genotype.
This condition can be cured with the right antibiotics. Antibiotics that are commonly prescribed to treat LGV include tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin, and azithromycin. Treatment involves antibiotics and may involve drainage of the buboes or abscesses by needle aspiration or incision