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      High burden of untreated syphilis, drug resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and other sexually transmitted infections in men with urethral discharge syndrome in Kampala, Uganda

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          Abstract

          Objectives

          Prompt diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are essential to combat the STI epidemic in resource-limited settings. We characterized the burden of 5 curable STIs chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, Mycoplasma genitalium, syphilis, and HIV infection in Ugandan men with urethritis.

          Methods

          Participants were recruited from a gonococcal surveillance program in Kampala, Uganda. Questionnaires, penile swabs were collected and tested by nucleic acid amplification. Gonococcal isolates were tested for antimicrobial sensitivity. Sequential point-of-care tests on blood samples were used to screen for syphilis and HIV. Bivariable and multivariable multinomial logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios for preselected factors likely to be associated with STIs. Adherence to STI treatment guidelines were analyzed.

          Results

          From October 2019 to November 2020, positivity (95% CI) for gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and Mycoplasma genitalium, were 66.4% (60.1%, 72.2%), 21.7% (16.8%, 27.4%), 2.0% (0.7%, 4.9%), and 12.4% (8.7%, 17.3%) respectively. All Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin, penicillin, and tetracycline, but susceptible to extended spectrum cephalosporins and azithromycin. HIV and syphilis prevalence was 20.0% (50/250) and 10.0% (25/250), and the proportion unaware of their infection was 4.0% and 80.0% respectively. Most participants were treated per national guidelines. Multivariable analysis demonstrated significant associations between curable STI coinfections and younger age, transactional sex, but not HIV status, nor condom or alcohol use.

          Conclusions

          STI coinfections including HIV their associated risk factors, and gonococcal AMR were common in this population. The majority with syphilis were unaware of their infection and were untreated. Transactional sex was associated with STI coinfections, and > 80% of participants received appropriate treatment.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12879-022-07431-1.

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          Most cited references20

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          Global Estimates of the Prevalence and Incidence of Four Curable Sexually Transmitted Infections in 2012 Based on Systematic Review and Global Reporting

          Background Quantifying sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence and incidence is important for planning interventions and advocating for resources. The World Health Organization (WHO) periodically estimates global and regional prevalence and incidence of four curable STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis. Methods and Findings WHO’s 2012 estimates were based upon literature reviews of prevalence data from 2005 through 2012 among general populations for genitourinary infection with chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and trichomoniasis, and nationally reported data on syphilis seroprevalence among antenatal care attendees. Data were standardized for laboratory test type, geography, age, and high risk subpopulations, and combined using a Bayesian meta-analytic approach. Regional incidence estimates were generated from prevalence estimates by adjusting for average duration of infection. In 2012, among women aged 15–49 years, the estimated global prevalence of chlamydia was 4.2% (95% uncertainty interval (UI): 3.7–4.7%), gonorrhoea 0.8% (0.6–1.0%), trichomoniasis 5.0% (4.0–6.4%), and syphilis 0.5% (0.4–0.6%); among men, estimated chlamydia prevalence was 2.7% (2.0–3.6%), gonorrhoea 0.6% (0.4–0.9%), trichomoniasis 0.6% (0.4–0.8%), and syphilis 0.48% (0.3–0.7%). These figures correspond to an estimated 131 million new cases of chlamydia (100–166 million), 78 million of gonorrhoea (53–110 million), 143 million of trichomoniasis (98–202 million), and 6 million of syphilis (4–8 million). Prevalence and incidence estimates varied by region and sex. Conclusions Estimates of the global prevalence and incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis in adult women and men remain high, with nearly one million new infections with curable STI each day. The estimates highlight the urgent need for the public health community to ensure that well-recognized effective interventions for STI prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment are made more widely available. Improved estimation methods are needed to allow use of more varied data and generation of estimates at the national level.
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            Sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the era of antiretroviral treatment and prevention: the biologic basis for epidemiologic synergy

            Abstract Introduction HIV is a unique sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is greatly affected by other concomitant “classical” bacterial and viral STIs that cause genital ulcers and/or mucosal inflammation. STIs also serve as a marker for risky sexual behaviours. STIs increase infectiousness of people living with HIV by increasing the viral concentration in the genital tract, and by increasing the potential for HIV acquisition in people at risk for HIV. In addition, some STIs can increase blood HIV concentration and promote progression of disease. This review is designed to investigate the complex relationship between HIV and classical STIs. Discussion Treatment of STIs with appropriate antibiotics reduces HIV in blood, semen and female genital secretions. However, community‐based trials could not reliably reduce the spread of HIV by mass treatment of STIs. Introduction of antiretroviral agents for the treatment and prevention of HIV has led to renewed interest in the complex relationship between STIs and HIV. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) reduces the infectiousness of HIV and virtually eliminates the transmission of HIV in spite of concomitant or acquired STIs. However, while ART interrupts HIV transmission, it does not stop intermittent shedding of HIV in genital secretions. Such shedding of HIV is increased by STIs, although the viral copies are not likely replication competent or infectious. Pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of HIV with the combination of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) prevents HIV acquisition in spite of concomitant STIs. Conclusions STIs remain pandemic, and the availability of ART may have led to an increase in STIs, as fear of HIV has diminished. Classical STIs present a huge worldwide health burden that cannot be separated from HIV, and they deserve far more attention than they currently receive.
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              Treatment of Mycoplasma genitalium. Observations from a Swedish STD Clinic

              Objectives To evaluate therapy for Mycoplasma genitalium infection with doxycycline or azithromycin 1 g compared to five days of azithromycin (total dose 1.5 g). Methods A retrospective case study was performed among patients attending the STD-clinic in Falun, Sweden 1998–2005. All patients with a positive PCR test for M. genitalium were routinely offered a test of cure (toc). Response to doxycycline for 9 days, azithromycin 1 g single dose and extended azithromycin (500 mg on day 1 followed by 250 mg o.d. for 4 days) was determined. In patients with treatment failure after azithromycin, macrolide resistance was monitored before and after treatment. Furthermore, the rate of macrolide resistance was monitored for positive specimens available from 2006–2011. Results The eradication rate after doxycycline was 43% (48% for women and 38% for men), for azithromycin 1 g 91% (96% for women and 88% for men) and for extended azithromycin 99% (100% for women and 93% for men). Macrolide resistance developed in 7/7 examined (100%) of those testing positive after azithromycin 1 g, but in none of those treated with extended azithromycin. Macrolide resistance before treatment increased from 0% in 2006 and 2007 to 18% in 2011. Conclusions These findings confirm the results from other studies showing that doxycycline is inefficient in eradicating M. genitalium. Although azithromycin 1 g was not significantly less efficient than extended dosage, it was associated with selection of macrolide resistant M. genitalium strains and should not be used as first line therapy for M. genitalium. Monitoring of M. genitalium macrolide resistance should be encouraged.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                mhamill6@jhu.edu
                Journal
                BMC Infect Dis
                BMC Infect Dis
                BMC Infectious Diseases
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-2334
                7 May 2022
                7 May 2022
                2022
                : 22
                : 440
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.21107.35, ISNI 0000 0001 2171 9311, Division of Infectious Disease, , Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, ; 5200 Eastern Avenue, Mason F. Lord Center Tower, Suite 381, Baltimore, MD 21224 USA
                [2 ]GRID grid.11194.3c, ISNI 0000 0004 0620 0548, Infectious Disease Institute, ; Kampala, Uganda
                [3 ]GRID grid.21107.35, ISNI 0000 0001 2171 9311, Johns Hopkins University, ; Baltimore, MD USA
                [4 ]GRID grid.21107.35, ISNI 0000 0001 2171 9311, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, ; Baltimore, MD USA
                [5 ]GRID grid.415705.2, Ministry of Health, National Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Program, ; Kampala, Uganda
                Article
                7431
                10.1186/s12879-022-07431-1
                9077641
                35525934
                348163dd-68e7-4f38-9594-b2e849b692b5
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                History
                : 16 February 2022
                : 28 April 2022
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000070, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering;
                Award ID: U54EB07958
                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Infectious disease & Microbiology
                Infectious disease & Microbiology

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