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June 27, 1986

Prospective Study of Perinatal Transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Laboratory Medicine (Dr Schachter and Mss Holt, Jordan, and Bishop); Obstetrics and Gynecology (Dr Sweet); and Pediatrics (Dr Grossman and Mss Holt, Jordan, and Bishop), University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco General Hospital.

JAMA. 1986;255(24):3374-3377. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370240044034

During a five-year period, 262 (4.7%) of 5,531 pregnant women had positive cervical cultures for Chlamydia trachomatis, and 131 of their infants were followed up prospectively to ascertain the outcome of chlamydial exposure during the birth process. Culture-confirmed inclusion conjunctivitis of the newborn was seen in 23 (18%) of the infants. Chlamydial pneumonia was diagnosed in 21 (16%) of the infants at risk. Chlamydia trachomatis was recovered from 47 of the infants (36%), while 79 (60%) showed serologic evidence of infection. Subclinical rectal and vaginal infections were detected in 14% of infants at risk. In our population, 2.8% of newborn infants show serologic evidence of perinatal chlamydial infection and 1.4% develop either chlamydial pneumonia or conjunctivitis. Incidence rates of this magnitude indicate the need for programs aimed at preventing perinatal transmission of C trachomatis.

(JAMA 1986;255:3374-3377)