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Observed Treatment Responses to Short-Course Doxycycline Therapy for Rectal Lymphogranuloma Venereum in Men Who Have Sex With Men

Simons, Rebecca, MRCP*; Candfield, Sophie, MRCP; French, Patrick, FRCP; White, John, A., FRCP*

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: June 2018 - Volume 45 - Issue 6 - p 406–408
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000772
Original Studies

Background Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) has reestablished itself as an endemic sexually transmitted infection in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe and North America over the last decade. Current guidelines suggest treatment with 21 days of doxycycline; however, the evidence base for LGV treatment including its duration is very limited.

Methods We conducted a retrospective review in 2 central London genitourinary medicine clinics of men who have sex with men (MSM) with LGV in whom less than 21 days of doxycycline was used initially.

Results Sixty MSM were treated initially with less than 21 days of doxycycline, of whom 50 (83%) were prescribed a 7-day course. Fifty percent of patients were asymptomatic, with the rest having rectal or other symptoms. Fifty-nine (97%) of 60 had a negative test of cure for LGV at a median of 31 days (7–200 days). Reinfection as opposed to treatment failure was considered likely in the patient testing positive. A second test of cure at a median of 139 days later (37–638 days) was completed in 30 patients, of whom 28 (93%) were negative for LGV.

Conclusions Seven to 14 days of doxycycline is effective in most cases of LGV with negative TOCs in 59 of 60 patients. These data suggest that 7 days of doxycycline is effective in achieving cure of rectal LGV in most MSM. There is a case for a randomized controlled trial of LGV treatment including a 7-day regimen of doxycycline.

A retrospective analysis of short-course doxycycline for rectal lymphogranuloma venereum in men who have sex with men in London suggests that 7 days of doxycycline has good efficacy.

From the *Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust; and

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence: Rebecca Simons, MRCP, Guy's Hospital, Harrison Wing, 2nd Floor Southwark Wing, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom. E-mail: rebecca.simons@doctors.org.uk.

Conflict of Interest and Sources of Funding: None declared.

Received for publication July 23, 2017, and accepted November 19, 2017.

© Copyright 2018 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association