Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)

June 19, 2006

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a systemic, sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a type of Chlamydia trachomatis (serovars L1, L2, or L3) that rarely occurs in the United States and other industrialized countries. However, The Netherlands (MMWR Oct. 29, 2004) and other European countries have reported increases in LGV proctitis among men who have sex with men (MSM). The MMWR article describes The Netherlands' LGV finding including clinical signs and symptoms along with CDC's 2002 STD Treatment Guidelines for LGV.

Using LGV testing technology not commercially available (LGV genotyping), CDC has assisted state and local health departments in identifying patients with LGV in cities across the United States. The majority of patients with LGV proctitis in the U.S. have been HIV-infected MSM. In states that lack laboratory capacity to perform LGV diagnostic testing, specimens may be submitted to CDC's Chlamydia Laboratory for testing. If you are a clinician with patients with symptoms consistent with LGV [mucoid/purulent anal discharge, rectal bleeding, constipation, inguinal/femoral lymphadenopathy (buboes), genital or rectal ulcer or papule, anal spasms, and/or tenesmus], please contact your state or local health departments. If state or local testing for LGV proctitis is unavailable, the state public health laboratory may forward specimens to CDC for testing.

At CDC, specimens will be tested for C. trachomatis and, if positive, will be genotyped for the identification of LGV. Serology will only be performed in conjunction with specimens tested directly for LGV (e.g. rectal swabs).

If you have patients you suspect of having LGV, or have questions about LGV, please contact both your state and local health departments. Thank you in advance for your efforts to assist in the prompt identification and control of LGV in the United States.

If you have additional questions about CDC activities regarding LGV, please contact

This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.