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Lymphogranuloma Venereum Symptoms and Treatment

January 2, 2018

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted disease that used to be primarily considered as affecting individuals in the developing world. Unfortunately, it’s now on the rise worldwide. There was an initial outbreak in men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Netherlands in 2003. After that, LGV started to be located in isolated groups of MSM throughout western Europe, North America, and Australia.

LGV is closely associated with HIV disease. In addition, as with many other STDs, lymphogranuloma venereum can actually raise the risk of HIV transmission and acquisition.

LGV is really brought on by a form of chlamydia. A lot of types of chlamydia infect humans. Serovars D-K trigger standard esophageal infections. Serovars A-C trigger trachoma (blindness.) Serovars L1, L2, and L3 cause LGV.


In certain ways, disease with LGV is more similar to infection with syphilis than normal genital chlamydial disease. This is because infection has multiple stages. Furthermore, symptoms can become systemic (spread across the body) instead of just local.

The first stage of LGV infection is a small bulge, or papule, that may become ulcerated. This symptom usually appears approximately 1 to 2 weeks after exposure to the virus. The second phase occurs about 2 to 6 months afterwards. Second phase lymphogranuloma symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever, and pain.

Infected MSM who practice anal sex might also experience itching, discharge, and bleeding from their rectums. Swollen lymph nodes are less common in women with LGV.

In case LGV remains untreated, it can become chronic and cause long-term harm to the lymphatic system. This is similar to how untreated chlamydia may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.

Problems usually start to appear approximately five to ten years after initial infection.

Diagnosis and Therapy

Lymphogranuloma venereum can be extremely tough to test for. In order to acquire a proper diagnosis, doctors have to be equally familiar with the illness and require a very careful history. Simply examining material from the sores may not offer a clear result. Bacteria might not always be visible, based on the stage of the illness.

Lymphogranuloma venereum is the result of a type of chlamydia. Consequently, analyzing sores and inflamed lymph nodes to the presence of chlamydia can cause a correct identification. Most labs are not capable of distinguishing between a conventional genital chlamydia infection and Lymphogranuloma venereum. That means the disease may wind up being misdiagnosed. Providentially, the antibiotic treatment regimen is similar. What’s more, in the existence of a bubo containing chlamydia, it’s a pretty safe bet that Lymphogranuloma venereum is the culprit rather than a standard genital strain.