DOI: 10.1177/20499361231220154 ISSN: 2049-9361

A retrospective study on the status of sexually transmitted co-infections in university hospitals in Korea from 2017 to 2021

Sun Jung Lee, Tae Su Jang, Jae Kyung Kim
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remains high worldwide. Despite the worldwide increase in the incidence of STIs every year, there are few reports on the frequency of STIs with different pathogens according to age and gender. Accordingly, a study was conducted to determine trends in co-infection with STIs by age and gender in Cheonan, South Korea from 2017 to 2021.


To identify trends by age or sex in co-infection of STIs in this region.


A retrospective study was conducted on clinical samples examined at Dankook University Hospital from January 2017 to November 2021. A total of 3297 specimens were collected from patients visiting Dankook University Hospital (Cheonan, Korea), and statistical analysis was performed on patients ranging in age from 1 day to 93 years.


Multiplex polymerase chain reaction, the most efficient method to diagnose a bacterial infection, was performed using an MJ Research PTC-200 Thermal Cycler (Marshall Scientific, Richmond, VA, USA) and a Seeplex STD Detection Kit (Seegene, Seoul, Republic of Korea). The co-infection rate with STI pathogens was analyzed according to age and sex.


Of the 3297 clinical samples, 1017 (30.9%) tested positive for sexually transmitted pathogens, ranging from one to six co-infections. Analysis of the co-infection rate by age revealed that the average age gradually decreased as the total number of co-infection pathogens increased. The co-infection percentage and age distribution of STIs differed according to sex. Co-infection was more prevalent in female patients. Furthermore, co-infection in male patients occurred frequently in the 30–39-year-old group, while those in female patients occurred in the 20–29- and 30–39-year-old groups.


Our statistical analysis showed that STI co-infections were more common among younger than older people. Therefore, it helps in recognizing STIs at a young age and provides possible indicator data to prevent STIs at a young age. In addition, further research is needed on co-infection in other regions.

More from our Archive