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Genotyping of Chlamydia trachomatis Would Improve Contact Tracing

FALK, LARS MD*; LINDBERG, MARGRET MSc*; JURSTRAND, MARGARETHA MSc; BÄCKMAN, ANDERS PhD; OLCÉN, PER MD, PhD; FREDLUND, HANS MD, PhD

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: March 2003 - Volume 30 - Issue 3 - p 205-210
Article

Background The reported number of genital Chlamydia trachomatis infections has increased 15% annually since 1997 in Sweden. Inaccurate partner notification might be one reason.

Goal The goals were to determine if genotyping of C trachomatis would improve partner notification and to study the duration of infection.

Study Design Sexual networks were constructed. C trachomatis isolates from 231 individuals attending the Örebro STD clinic during 1 year were typed by sequencing of the omp1 gene.

Results All individuals were traced and diagnoses were established in 30 of 161 networks. More than one genotype was seen in seven networks. The mean duration of C trachomatis infection in each network was calculated to be 23 weeks.

Conclusion Genotyping could be a useful tool in partner notification when there are discrepant or uncommon genotypes. Limited clinic catchment areas create information difficulties that obstruct accurate contact tracing.

A study at the STD clinic in Örebro, Sweden, shows that genotyping of Chlamydia trachomatis isolates can improve contact tracing and that partner notification is suboptimal.

From the *Department of Dermatology and Venereology and Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden

The authors thank Professor Kenneth Persson, of Malmö University Hospital, for supplying reference strains and the staff members of the Örebro STD clinic for all their efforts and their positive attitude during the study.

Supported by the Research Committee of Örebro County Council, Örebro Medical Center Research Foundation, and National Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

The Research Ethic Committee of Örebro County Council approved the study on January 24, 1999.

Reprint requests: Lars Falk, MD, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Örebro University Hospital, SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden. E-mail: lars.falk@orebroll.se

Received April 22, 2002,

revised August 13, 2002, and accepted August 20, 2002.

© Copyright 2003 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association