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July 14, 1978

More Than Meets the Eye

JAMA. 1978;240(2):145. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290020067029

A little more than one year ago, Beem and Saxon1 indicated that a pneumonitis in infancy can be caused by an agent that until now has been considered to affect only the eyes. They proved that Chlamydia trachomatis, after residing for a longer period in the nasal mucosa and causing nasal obstruction and discharge, may settle in the lower respiratory tract. Beem and Saxon1 found nasopharyngeal C trachomatis in 18 of 20 patients with pneumonia syndrome. In addition, they found C trachomatis in two of 15 patients with various other illnesses and in ten of 12 with inclusion conjunctivitis, but without lower respiratory tract illness. Chlamydia antibody titers were substantially elevated in pediatric patients with pneumonia syndrome.

Harrison et al2 have again described the prevalence of C trachomatis infection in hospitalized patients younger than 6 months with lower respiratory tract infection. They found seven cases of pneumonitis