Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in young women and associated predictors

Sexually Transmitted DiseasesGupta K, Harrison SA, Davis NA, et al. | July 27, 2021

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A high prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection has been described, especially among young women who are disproportionately affected. Because of asymptomaticity, infection in most CT-infected women often goes unrecognized and untreated. Researchers herein investigated their hypothesis that screening for active CT infection with molecular diagnostics and retrieving a reported history of CT infection underestimate the prevalence of current and past CT infection, and incorporation of serum CT antibody screening in addition to these other prevalence estimates would yield more precise measures of the prevalence of CT infection in asymptomatic young women. Among a total of 362 asymptomatic women (aged 16 to 29 years), the prevalence of CT infection was determined based on having 1 or more of the following prevalence measures: an active urogenital CT infection based on molecular testing, reported prior CT infection, and/or being CT seropositive. CT infection was identified in 67.7%. More than doubled CT infection prevalence was detected after the addition of CT antibody testing to the other individual prevalence measures. The following were the predictors of a higher prevalence of CT infection: non-Hispanic Black race, reported prior gonorrhea, and reported prior trichomoniasis. Per findings, more than half of women are unaware of ever having CT infection and hence many are at risk for CT-associated reproductive complications. In light of these data, they emphasize adhering to chlamydia screening guidelines and increasing screening coverage in those at risk.

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