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A resurgence of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) has been observed in several European countries. LGV is not a mandatorily notifiable disease in Germany. Reports of LGV cases have actively been collected by the Robert Koch-Institut since 2004 to describe the outbreak and estimate the extent of the LGV problem in Germany. Updates on the LGV outbreak were published in the German national epidemiological bulletin. Physicians were asked to send their samples to a laboratory for genotyping. A possible case was defined as a person with symptoms of proctitis and/or inguinal lymph node swelling and a positive chlamydia serology. A probable case had in addition a positive chlamydia rectal or urinary PCR test. A case was confirmed if the genotype L1-L3 was identified based on sequence analysis of omp1 gene sequences. Since 2003, LGV has been reported in 78 male patients in Germany. Of these, 61 patients were confirmed as genotype L2. Fifty eight out of 78 patients (74%) are known to be men who have sex with men (MSM). Fifty five patients (71%) had rectal symptoms and 49 (63%) knew they were HIV positive. Sixty two (79%) of the patients were residents of Berlin or Hamburg. LGV has emerged in MSM in Germany at the same time as in other European countries. It is thought that LGV may become endemic in the MSM community in German metropolitan areas, because the number of reported patients with LGV continues to increase. The increase in the number of LGV cases and the high HIV prevalence in LGV patients are of great public health concern. Clinicians and MSM may not be sufficiently aware of the disease, and existing efforts to promote awareness and prevention of sexually transmitted infections and HIV need to be strengthened.


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