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Sex Transm Dis. 1999 Jan;26(1):43-8.

Epidemiologic aspects of male gonococcal infection in Greece.

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  • 1National Reference Center for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Department of Bacteriology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece.



To report male gonorrhea incidence trends between the years 1974 and 1996 and compare the epidemiologic characteristics of the affected population during periods of high and low incidence of the disease.


Retrospective study of all available data for male gonorrhea cases recorded annually in a major STD hospital in Greece since 1974.


An abrupt drop in gonorrhea relative incidence occurred in 1986, followed by low rates thereafter. In the context of the overall decline in the incidence of the disease, a shift to older ages, longer time elapsed before seeking medical assistance, and higher proportion of disease repeaters was noticed among the patients. Infections caused by penicillinase-producing gonococci were strongly associated with contacts outside the country or with foreigners and their incidence presented erratic time fluctuations, indicating that they have not been established as endemic in the Greek population.


The core group hypothesis in terms of nighttime sociosexual activity can be used to interpret most of the findings.

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