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REVIEW

Sexual transmission of intestinal parasites in men who have sex with men

Alireza Abdolrasouli A D , Alexander McMillan B and John P. Ackers C

A Department of Clinical Microbiology, Pathology Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W12 0HS, UK.

B Formerly, Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, NHS Lothian, University Hospitals Division, Edinburgh EH3 9HA, UK.

C Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK.

D Corresponding author. Email: alireza.abdolrasouli@imperial.nhs.uk

Sexual Health 6(3) 185-194 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH08084
Submitted: 20 November 2008  Accepted: 24 April 2009   Published: 3 August 2009

Abstract

Direct oral-anal sexual contact is a common practice among men who have sex with men (MSM) and is implicated in the transmission of various enteric pathogens including intestinal parasites. The present study reviewed data on the sexual transmission of intestinal parasites among MSM, and highlighted advances in the diagnosis of such infections. The emergence and spread of intestinal parasites is of public health concern particularly in the homosexual community. Intestinal parasitic infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease in this population. Combination of traditional diagnostic procedures with implementation of testing based on novel molecular methods in the accurate identification of intestinal parasites is important so that early intervention and control of infection is facilitated.

Additional keywords: anilingus, homosexuality, oral-anal intercourse, rimming, sexually transmissible infections.


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