The epidemiology of gonococcal arthritis in an Indigenous Australian population

Tuttle, Camilla S.L., Van Dantzig, Thomas, Brady, Stephen, Ward, James, and Maguire, Graeme (2015) The epidemiology of gonococcal arthritis in an Indigenous Australian population. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 91 (7). pp. 497-501.

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Abstract

Background: Disseminated Gonococcal Infection (DGI) is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteraemia. Typically the primary source is a sexually acquired mucosal infection. If not recognised and treated promptly DGI can be associated with significant morbidity and, in rare cases, death. Central Australia has one of the highest rates of gonococcal notifications in Australia. Despite this, the nature and prevalence of complications arising from gonococcal infections within this at-risk population is unknown.

Methods: Enhanced surveillance and audit of patients with DGI discharged from Alice Springs Hospital between 2003 and 2012. Patient demographics and clinical management data were extracted from healthcare records and investigation databases.

Results: DGI cases were significantly more likely to present in young (≤29 years) Indigenous women compared with young Indigenous men (χ2, p=0.020). Overall Indigenous women had nearly twice the risk of DGI compared with men (relative risk 1.92 (95% CI 1.45 to 2.53)). The incidence of DGI per all gonococcal notifications on average was 911/100 000 (95% CI 717 to 1142) gonococcal notifications.

Conclusions: DGI represents a severe complication of N. gonorrhoeae infection. In Central Australia DGI is not a rare oddity but rather an important differential when dealing with patients with undefined sepsis and associated joint disease.

Item ID: 41980
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-3263
Keywords: Indigenous women; central Australia; gonococcal infections; at-risk population; arthritis
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)., Margaret Ross Chair in Indigenous Health
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 17:36
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110324 Venereology @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110322 Rheumatology and Arthritis @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920116 Skeletal System and Disorders (incl. Arthritis) @ 20%
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