2013 European Guideline on the management of proctitis, proctocolitis and enteritis caused by sexually transmissible pathogens

Int J STD AIDS. 2014 Jun;25(7):465-74. doi: 10.1177/0956462413516100. Epub 2013 Dec 18.


Proctitis is defined as an inflammatory syndrome of the distal 10-12 cm of the anal canal, also called the rectum. Infectious proctitis can be sexually transmitted via genital-anal mucosal contact, but some also via mutual masturbation.N. gonorrhoeae,C. trachomatis(including lymphogranuloma venereum), Herpes Simplex Virus andT. pallidumare the most common sexually transmitted anorectal pathogens. Shigellosis can be transferred via oral-anal contact and may lead to proctocolitis or enteritis. Although most studies on these infections have concentrated on men who have sex with men (MSM), a significant proportion of women have anal intercourse and therefore may also be at risk. A presumptive clinical diagnosis of proctitis can be made when there are symptoms and signs, and a definitive diagnosis when the results of laboratory tests are available. The symptoms of proctitis include anorectal itching, pain, cramps (tenesmus) and discharge in and around the anal canal. Asymptomatic proctitis occurs frequently and can only be detected by laboratory tests. The majority of rectal chlamydia and gonococcal infections are asymptomatic. Therefore when there is a history of receptive anal contact, exclusion of anorectal infections is generally indicated as part of standard screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condom use does not guarantee protection from bacterial and protozoan STIs, which are often spread without penile penetration.

Keywords: AIDS; Chlamydia trachomatis; HIV; MSM; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Treponema pallidum; bacterial; disease; enteritis; guideline; herpes simplex virus; homosexual; lymphogranuloma venereum; men who have sex with men; proctitis; proctocolitis; sexually transmitted infections.

MeSH terms

  • Anal Canal / microbiology
  • Bacterial Infections / complications*
  • Bacterial Infections / transmission
  • Enteritis* / diagnosis
  • Enteritis* / drug therapy
  • Enteritis* / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Proctitis* / diagnosis
  • Proctitis* / drug therapy
  • Proctitis* / etiology
  • Proctocolitis* / diagnosis
  • Proctocolitis* / drug therapy
  • Proctocolitis* / etiology
  • Rectum / microbiology
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / etiology