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Surveillance Systems for Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Switzerland

Zwahlen, Marcel PhD*; Spoerri, Adrian MSc*; Gebhardt, Martin PhD, MPH; Mäusezahl, Mirjam MD, MPH; Boubaker, Karim MD; Low, Nicola MD, MFPH*

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: February 2007 - Volume 34 - Issue 2 - p 76-80
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000223248.96376.3b
Article

Background: In Switzerland (population 7.4 million), 3 different systems contribute to surveillance for sexually transmitted infections.

Goal: The goal of this study was to compare time trends from surveillance systems for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Study Design: We studied surveillance data (1997–2003) from laboratory reports in women and men, men attending dermatology clinics, and women attending gynecologists.

Results: Laboratory reports of episodes of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae increased by 31% (from 2573 to 3449 cases) and 104% (from 259 to 528 cases), respectively. Over the same period, chlamydia reports from men attending dermatology clinics and women attending gynecologists did not change and dermatology clinic-based reports of gonorrhea in men increased only slightly. Syphilis reports from dermatology clinics increased by 127% (from 22 to 50 cases).

Conclusions: Increases in laboratory reports of chlamydia and gonorrhea were not consistently detected in sentinel populations. Numbers of cases reported to all 3 systems were low. The performance of surveillance systems for sexually transmitted infections should be evaluated regularly.

Surveillance data in Switzerland showed that increases in laboratory reports of chlamydia and gonorrhea from 1997 to 2003 were not reflected in trends from men attending dermatology clinics and women attending gynecologists.

From the *Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; and the †Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Bern, Switzerland

Correspondence: Nicola Low, MD, MFPH, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Finkenhubelweg 11, Bern, CH-3012, Switzerland. E-mail: low@ispm.unibe.ch

Received for publication September 14, 2005, and accepted April 12, 2006.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association