Chlamydia trachomatis infection in the first year of life

  • Martins J
  • Ribeiro Luís C
  • Correia De Aguiar T
  • et al.
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BACKGROUND: Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) is the most frequent bacterial sexual infection in women. Pregnant women screening is controversial, with asymptomatic colonization occurring in 2-20%, and 40-70% newborns can be infected. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this work is to characterise C. trachomatis infections in children under 12 months. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective study was carried out from January 1997 to December 2009 (13 years), on Chlamydia infections, diagnosed by immunofluorescence of ocular scraping or serum immunoglobulin M (IgM). Demographic, clinical features, imaging findings, and outcomes were analysed. RESULTS: A total of 46 children were identified, with an overall incidence of 0.7/1,000 deliveries. Mean age was 2 months (range from 7 days to 11 months). Seven mothers had co-infections: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (1), HBs antigen (HBsAg) (1) and group B Streptococcus (5). Most (81.4%) children had a vaginal delivery, with membrane rupture over 12 hours in 13.0%. Respiratory infection occurred in 41 (89.1%) cases and conjunctivitis in 17 (36.9%). Conjunctivitis manifested in the first 30 days of life (range from 7 days to 52 days). Respiratory symptoms occurred at age 45 days (range from 8 days to 11 months). Ten (29.4%) children had complications: hypoxemia (9), acute medial otitis (2), apnoea (3) and atelectasis (1). Chest X-ray revealed interstitial infiltrate in 25 (65.8%), and was normal in 4 children. Most children (80.5%) had a good outcome. CONCLUSIONS: C. trachomatis should be considered as an aetiologic agent of conjunctivitis and respiratory infections in the first year of life. The prevalence of C. trachomatis infection in Portugal is unknown, and is probably an underdiagnosed disease.




Martins, J., Ribeiro Luís, C., Correia De Aguiar, T., Garrote Marcos, J. M., & João Rocha Brito, M. (2011). Chlamydia trachomatis infection in the first year of life. Anales de Pediatria, 74(5), 298–302.

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