What is lymphogranuloma venereum?
Lymphogranuloma venereum or LGV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in men and women caused by Chlamydia. Initial signs of infection may be a painless, red erosion on the genitalia followed by inguinal (groin) lymph node enlargement (lymphadenopathy). The lymph node enlargement is called buboes, these can cause obstruction of the lymphatic vessels in the area and scarring of the female abdominopelvic organs. In the female this scarring can cause sterility, a fertilized egg will not be able to implant thus inhibiting pregnancy. In the male, the testicles and scrotum may swell causing tenderness and pain.
A high percentage of men and women have no initial symptoms and only realize they are ill when the lymph glands in the groin start to swell. Treatment is antibiotic therapy.
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a disease that primarily infects the lymphatics. It is caused due to serovars L1, L2, and L3 of Chlamydia trachomatis. The disease is transmitted usually by sexual activity, though cases of transmission by nonsexual personal contact, and laboratory accidents have also been reported. The pulmonary symptoms of the disease are explained by the formation of aerosols of the organism.
Once the organism that causes the disease gains entry into the body there are three stages of progression.
- Primary lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
- The initial lesion that occurs after 2-3 of exposure may be a painless papule, shallow erosion, ulcer, or grouping of lesions.
- The usual site of the primary infection is the genital area.
- Secondary LGV
- The secondary stage starts after 10-30 days of exposure. There is a formation of enlarged, tender regional lymph nodes known as buboes.
- Patients experience symptoms like fever, headache, malaise, chills, nausea and vomiting.
- Tertiary LGV
- This late stage is characterized by proctocolitis.
- Symptoms include anal pruritus, bloody mucopurulent rectal discharge, fever, rectal pain, constipation, pencil-thin stools, and weight loss.