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      Gonorrhea infection in women: prevalence, effects, screening, and management

      review-article
      ,
      International Journal of Women's Health
      Dove Medical Press
      gonorrhea, women, infection, treatment, cephalosporins

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          Abstract

          Gonorrhea is a set of clinical conditions resulting from infection with the sexually-acquired bacterial pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Acquisition may involve multiple mucosal sites in the lower female genital tract, including the urethra, cervix, Bartholin’s and Skene’s glands, as well as the anorectal canal, pharynx, and conjunctivae. It may spread to the upper genital tract, uterine tubes, abdominal cavity, and other systemic sites. Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually-transmitted infection in the US and rates are higher among women than men. Women and infants are affected disproportionately by gonorrhea, because early infection may be asymptomatic and also because extension of infection is often associated with serious sequelae. Screening is critical for infection identification and the prevention or limitation of upper genital tract spread, and horizontal and vertical transmission. Routine genital screening is recommended annually for all sexually active women at risk for infection, including women aged < 25 years and older women with one or more of the following risks: a previous gonorrhea infection, the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases, new or multiple sex partners, inconsistent condom use, commercial sex work, drug use, or human immunodeficiency virus infection with sexual activity or pregnancy. Pharyngeal gonococcal infections are common in adolescents, and direct culture screening is necessary to identify affected individuals. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are considered the standard for screening and diagnosis. Although urine NAAT testing is most commonly used, there is growing support for vaginal swabs collected by providers or patients themselves. Resistance to all antibiotics currently recommended for the treatment of gonorrhea has been documented and complicates therapeutic strategies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend treatment of gonorrhea with a single class of drugs, ie, the cephalosporins.

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          Most cited references68

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          Prevention of pelvic inflammatory disease by screening for cervical chlamydial infection.

          Chlamydia trachomatis is a frequent cause of pelvic inflammatory disease. However, there is little information from clinical studies about whether screening women for cervical chlamydial infection can reduce the incidence of this serious illness. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial to determine whether selective testing for cervical chlamydial infection prevented pelvic inflammatory disease. Women who were at high risk for disease were identified by means of a questionnaire mailed to all women enrollees in a health maintenance organization who were 18 to 34 years of age. Eligible respondents were randomly assigned to undergo testing for C. trachomatis or to receive usual care; both groups were followed for one year. Possible cases of pelvic inflammatory disease were identified through a variety of data bases and were confirmed by review of the women's medical records. We used an intention-to-screen analysis to compare the incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease in the two groups of women. Of the 2607 eligible women, 1009 were randomly assigned to screening and 1598 to usual care. A total of 645 women in the screening group (64 percent) for chlamydia; 7 percent tested positive and were treated. At the end of the follow-up period, there had been 9 verified cases of pelvic inflammatory disease among the women in the screening group and 33 cases among the women receiving usual care (relative risk, 0.44; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.90). We found similar results when we used logistic-regression analysis to control for potentially confounding variables. A strategy of identifying, testing, and treating women at increased risk for cervical chlamydial infection was associated with a reduced incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease.
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            Repeat infection with Chlamydia and gonorrhea among females: a systematic review of the literature.

            Determining the magnitude of chlamydia and gonorrhea reinfection is critical to inform evidence-based clinical practice guidelines related to retesting after treatment. PubMed was used to identify peer-reviewed English language studies published in the past 30 years that estimated reinfection rates among females treated for chlamydia or gonorrhea. Included in this analysis were original studies conducted in the United States and other industrialized countries that reported data on chlamydia or gonorrhea reinfection in females. Studies were stratified into 3 tiers based on study design. Reinfection rates were examined in relation to the organism, study design, length of follow-up, and population characteristics. Of the 47 studies included, 16 were active cohort (Tier 1), 15 passive cohort (Tier 2), and 16 disease registry (Tier 3) studies. The overall median proportion of females reinfected with chlamydia was 13.9% (n = 38 studies). Modeled chlamydia reinfection within 12 months demonstrated peak rates of 19% to 20% at 8 to 10 months. The overall median proportion of females reinfected with gonorrhea was 11.7% (n = 17 studies). Younger age was associated with higher rates of both chlamydia and gonorrhea reinfection. High rates of reinfection with chlamydia and gonorrhea among females, along with practical considerations, warrant retesting 3 to 6 months after treatment of the initial infection. Further research should investigate effective interventions to reduce reinfection and to increase retesting.
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              Nucleic acid amplification tests in the diagnosis of chlamydial and gonococcal infections of the oropharynx and rectum in men who have sex with men.

              Several nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are US Food and Drug Administration-cleared for detecting urogenital Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) infection, but they have not been adequately evaluated for the relatively common oropharyngeal or rectal CT and GC infections in men who have sex with men (MSM). Multiple swabs were collected from the oropharynx and rectum of MSM attending a city sexually transmitted disease clinic. The specimens were tested by standard culture and the following NAATs: Roche's Amplicor (PCR), Becton Dickinson's ProbeTec (SDA), and Gen-Probe's APTIMA Combo 2 (AC2) for the detection of CT and GC. Confirmatory testing of specimens with discrepant results was done by NAATs using alternate primers. A total of 1110 MSM were enrolled. Based on initial findings on 205 MSM, PCR had a 78.9% GC specificity with oropharyngeal swabs. Thus, we discontinued PCR testing for the rest of the study. For oropharyngeal GC (89 infections detected), sensitivities were 41% for culture, 72% for SDA, and 84% for AC2. For rectal GC (88 infections detected), sensitivities were 43% for culture, 78% for SDA and 93% for AC2. For oropharyngeal CT (9 infections detected), sensitivities were 44% for culture, 67% for SDA, and 100% for AC2. For rectal CT (68 infections detected), sensitivities were 27% for culture, 63% for SDA, and 93% for AC2. Specificities of SDA and AC2 were > or =99.4% for both organisms and anatomical sites. AC2 and SDA were far superior to culture for the detection of CT or GC from the oropharynx and rectum with AC2 detecting twice as many infections as culture. Further analyses with larger pharyngeal samples are needed, but clearly NAATs can improve our ability to diagnose rectal and oropharyngeal infection with CT or GC in MSM.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Womens Health
                International Journal of Women's Health
                International Journal of Women's Health
                Dove Medical Press
                1179-1411
                2011
                19 July 2011
                : 3
                : 197-206
                Affiliations
                Women’s Center for Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Cheryl K Walker, Women’s Center for Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, 4869 Y Street, Suite 2500, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA, Tel +1 916 734 6670, Fax +1 916 734 6666, Email ckwalker@ 123456ucdavis.edu
                Article
                ijwh-3-197
                10.2147/IJWH.S13427
                3150204
                21845064
                ec32fe65-c09f-472f-8ae8-76406339d6ee
                © 2011 Walker and Sweet, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 18 July 2011
                Categories
                Review

                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                infection,cephalosporins,treatment,women,gonorrhea
                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                infection, cephalosporins, treatment, women, gonorrhea

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