Home page  |  About this library  |  Help  |  Clear       English  |  French  |  Spanish  
Expand Document
Expand Chapter
Full TOC
to previous section to next section

close this bookBasic Laboratory Procedures in Clinical Bacteriology (WHO; 1991; 128 pages)
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
open this folder and view contentsQuality assurance in microbiology
close this folderPart I. Bacteriological investigations
open this folder and view contentsBlood
open this folder and view contentsCerebrospinal fluid
open this folder and view contentsUrine
open this folder and view contentsStool
open this folder and view contentsLower respiratory tract infections
open this folder and view contentsUpper respiratory tract infections
close this folderSexually transmitted diseases
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentUrethritis in men
View the documentGenital specimens from women
View the documentSpecimens from genital ulcers
open this folder and view contentsPurulent exudates, wounds, and abscesses
open this folder and view contentsAnaerobic bacteriology
open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial susceptibility testing
open this folder and view contentsPart II. Essential media and reagents for isolation and identification of clinical pathogens
View the documentSelected further reading
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack Cover


The number of microorganisms known to be sexually transmitted or transmissible, and the spectrum of clinical syndromes associated with these agents, have expanded enormously during the last decade. Table 10 lists selected sexually transmissible microorganisms and the diseases they cause. The etiological diagnosis of some of these conditions is a major challenge to the clinical microbiology laboratory. A laboratory diagnosis is an essential component in the management and control of diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis, and has implications not only for the patient but also for his or her sex partners.

This section discusses briefly the identification of the most commonly occurring sexually transmissible microorganisms found in specimens from the female and male genital tract. Viruses and bacterial agents such as Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, and Mobiluncus spp will not be dealt with here. For more extensive information, the reader is referred to the pertinent WHO document.1


1Bench level laboratory manual for sexually transmitted diseases. Unpublished document WHO/VDT/89.443; available on request from Programme of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.

Table 10. Selected sexually transmissible microorganisms and related syndromes

Etiological agent


Neisseria gonorrhoeae

cervicitis, urethritis, prepubertal vaginitis, proctitis, pharyngitis, conjunctivitis, epididymitis, prostatitis, bartholinitis, endometritis, salpingitis, perinepatitis, disseminated gonococcal infection (arthritis, dermatitis, tenosynovitis), chorio-amnionitis, infertility.

Chlamydia trachomatis

cervicitis, urethritis, prepubertal vaginitis, proctitis, conjunctivitis, trachoma, epididymitis, bartholinitis, endometritis, salpingitis, perinepatitis, infertility, infant pneumonia, otitis media in infants, Reiter syndrome.


Chlamydia trachomatis serovars L1, L2, L3

chlamydial lymphogranuloma

Treponema pallidum


Haemophilus ducreyi


Calymmatobacterium granulomatis

granuloma inguinale

Gardnerella vaginalis

bacterial vaginosis

Streptococcus agalactiae

neonatal sepsis and meningitis

Shigella spp, Salmonella spp, Campylobacter spp

enteric infections

human (alpha) herpesvirus

genital and orolabial herpes, neonatal herpes, meningitis, proctitis.


congenital infection

human papillomavirus

viral wart, cervical cancer(?)

human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related complex

hepatitis B virus

hepatitis B

Trichomonas vaginalis

vaginitis, urethritis

Candida albicans

vulvovaginitis, balanoposthitis

to previous section to next section

Please provide your feedback   English  |  French  |  Spanish