Background and Objectives
Although it has been hypothesized that repeated infections with Chlamydia trachomatis result in an increased potential for the development of infertility, it is not known whether repeated chlamydial infection by the vaginal route will result in an increased incidence of upper tract pathology or enhanced pathology.
Goal of This Study
To determine whether guinea pigs given two infections with the chlamydial agent of guinea pig inclusion conjunctivitis would experience an increased incidence of pathologic changes compared with animals having only a single infection.
Guinea pigs previously infected with guinea pig inclusion conjunctivitis were challenged with a fresh intravaginal inoculum 73–77 days after the primary infection. Oviducts were examined either nine or 30 to 37 days after the challenge infection for pathologic changes and compared with control unchallenged animals 75 to 85 days after a primary infection.
A significant increase in the number of animals with oviducts demonstrating marked tubal dilatation was observed in the challenged animals 30 to 37 days after the challenge infection. There was no association of increased antibody titer and chlamydial Hsp60 with the presence of tubal dilatation.
These data strongly indicate that repeated infection via the natural vaginal route does increase the risk of tubal damage.