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Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are predominantly transmitted via sexual contacts. The causes of STD are heterogeneous and contain viral infections and bacterial infections as well as infection with protozoa and others. STD especially evoke inflammations of genitals and urinary tract. They are often characterized by asymptomatic process and elude diagnosis and treatment.
However, an early diagnosis increase the success of treatment, reduces the probability of transmission to sexual partners as well as dissemination and individual long-term effects.

STD are spread throughout the world and occur with increasing incidence. According to published data of WHO the incidence increased from 2005 to 2008 in case of gonorrhea by 21 % and of trichomoniasis by 11.2 %. Gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are known cofactors for HIV infections and might cause reproductive problems.

Diagnostics

Microscopy and culture techniques are still common to diagnose STD. However, molecular biologic methods like real-time PCR offer the advantage of a fast and sensitive diagnosis. Problems with transportation of the samples from the physician to the lab while maintaining necessary vitality and motility of microorganisms for detection do no longer occur. Even the smallest sample volumes as well as various types of samples are sufficient for PCR diagnosis.

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References:

WHO: Global incidence and prevalence of selected curable sexually transmitted infections, 2008
CDC: Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010