Reiter's syndrome among Asian shipboard immigrants: The case of the Golden Venture

B. M. Solitar, C. J. Lozada, C. E. Tseng, A. M. Lowe, W. M. Krajewski, K. Blanchard, M. Pillinger, G. Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the incidence of Reiter's syndrome aboard The Golden Venture, a ship carrying illegal immigrants from China to the United States. Methods: After identification of an index case, we conducted telephone interviews with medical staff at immigrant detention centers in Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. When a potential case was identified at one facility, we performed a site inspection, reviewing the medical records of all detainees and performing histories and physicals on all those with joint and/or ocular complaints. Results: We identified two patients, both HLA B27 positive, with Reiter's syndrome. The observed incidence (0.87%) approximated the predicted incidence but may have underestimated the actual incidence. We review the history of shipboard Reiter's syndrome, and discuss the pathogenic roles of HLA B27 and particular infectious agents. Conclusion: Continued transportation of illegal immigrants from China and other parts of the world is likely to result in occasional clusters of Reiter's syndrome. Physicians treating immigrant populations should remain aware of the possibility of reactive arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthritis
  • Golden Venture
  • Reiter's syndrome
  • Uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rheumatology


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