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Diseases & Topics

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

LGV (Lymphogranuloma venereum) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by Chlamydia trachomatis serovars L1, L2, or L3. The most common clinical presentation of LGV in heterosexuals is typically unilateral tender inguinal and/or femoral lymphadenopathy. Occasionally a self-limited genital ulcer or papule will occur at the site of inoculation. Rectal exposure in women and men can result in  rectal ulcers, bleeding, pain and discharge. LGV can be an invasive infection and if not treated early, can result in chronic colorectal fistulas and strictures. Genital lesions caused by LGV can be mistaken for other ulcerative STDs such as syphilis, genital herpes and chancroid.

LGV is passed from person to person through direct contact with lesions, ulcers or other areas where the bacteria is located during sex. Complications of untreated LGV may include enlargement and ulcerations of the external genitalia, as well as obstruction of the flow of lymph which may cause elephantiasis of the genitalia.

LGV can be treated with antibiotics and people should abstain from sexual contact until the infection is cleared. Sex partners of patients diagnosed with LGV should be tested for LGV.

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