Investigating the epidemiology of repeat chlamydia trachomatis detection after treatment by Using C. trachomatis OmpA genotyping

Academic Article


  • Repeat Chlamydia trachomatis detection frequently occurs within months after C. trachomatis infection treatment. The origins of such infection (persistence versus reinfection from untreated or new partners) are varied and difficult to determine. C. trachomatis strains can be differentiated by sequencing the ompA gene encoding the outer membrane protein A (OmpA). We used OmpA genotyping to investigate the epidemiology of repeat C. trachomatis detection after treatment in C. trachomatis-infected subjects seen at a sexually transmitted diseases clinic. Subjects were enrolled, tested for C. trachomatis, treated with azithromycin, and scheduled for a 6-month follow-up for repeat C. trachomatis testing. OmpA genotyping was performed on C. trachomatis-positive urogenital specimens obtained from patients at enrollment and follow-up. The enrollment visit OmpA genotypes for C. trachomatis were determined for 162 subjects (92% female, 94% African American). C. trachomatis was detected at follow-up in 39 subjects (24%). The OmpA genotype distribution at enrollment did not differ in those with versus those without repeat C. trachomatis detection. Of the 35 subjects with C. trachomatis strains genotyped at enrollment and follow-up, 7 (20%) had the same ompA sequence at both visits, while 28 (80%) had discordant sequences. A new sexual partner was reported more often in subjects with discordant C. trachomatis strains than in those with concordant strains (13 [46%] versus 1 [14%]; P=0.195). Half of the subjects with discordant C. trachomatis strains who reported sexual activity since treatment denied a new sexual partner; 62% of these subjects reported that their partner was treated. Our study demonstrates that most repeat C. trachomatis detections after treatment were new infections with a different C. trachomatis strain rather than reinfection with the same strain. OmpA genotyping can be a useful tool in understanding the origins of repeat C. trachomatis detection after treatment.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kapil R; Press CG; Lisa Hwang M; Brown L; Geisler WM
  • Start Page

  • 546
  • End Page

  • 549
  • Volume

  • 53
  • Issue

  • 2