Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection.
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a chronic (long-term) infection of the lymphatic system. It is caused by any of three different types (serovars) of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria spread by sexual contact. The infection is not caused by the same bacteria that cause genital chlamydia.
LGV is more common in Central and South America than in North America.
LGV is more common in men than women. The main risk factor is being HIV-positive.
Symptoms of LGV can begin a few days to a month after coming in contact with the bacteria. Symptoms include:
The infection can cause diarrhea and lower abdominal pain.
The health care provider will examine you and ask about your medical and sexual history. Always tell your health care provider if you had sexual contact with someone who has had symptoms of LGV.
A physical exam may show:
Tests may include:
LGV is treated with antibiotics.
With treatment, the outlook is good.
Complications can occur many years after you are first infected.
Call your health care provider if:
Not having any sexual activity is the only way to prevent a sexually transmitted infection. Safer sex behaviors may reduce the risk.
The proper use of condoms, either the male or female type, greatly decreases the risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection. You need to wear the condom from the beginning to the end of each sexual activity.
LGV; Lymphogranuloma inguinale; Lymphopathia venereum
Batteiter BE, Tan M. Chlamydia trachomatis (trachoma, genital Infections, perinatal infections, and lymphogranuloma venereum). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Mandell GL, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 182.
Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Infections of the lower genital tract: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, endometritis, and salpingitis. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 23.
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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