Chlamydia trachomatis was cultured from cervical specimens of 14 (16.1%) of 231 women applying for legal abortion and from 23 (8.7%) of 273 puerperal women. The chlamydial isolation rate was related to the women's age. Of the pregnant and puerperal women under 20 years C trachomatis was isolated in 10% and 24% respectively; in those aged between 20 and 24 years the rates were 8.7% and 10.2% respectively whereas in those over 24 years the rates were 4.2% in both groups. Chlamydia were isolated more frequently from cervical specimens than from urethral specimens. However, if a cervical specimen alone had been examined the diagnosis would have been missed in three (17%) of 18 women. IgG antichlamydial antibodies (titre greater than or equal to 1/32) were detected by a micro-immunofluorescence test in samples of cord blood from 35 (25%) of 139 infants of the puerperal women. Of the 23 infants born to mothers harbouring chlamydia in the cervix C trachomatis was isolated from the conjuntival folds in five (22.5%). The chlamydial isolation rate from the eyes of the neonates was related to the time of sampling. None of the 108 infants examined between 6 and 7 days old was chlamydia-positive whereas chlamydia could be recovered from the conjunctival folds of four of them when re-examined from three to 23 days later.
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