Fifty consecutive unmarried women seeking termination of pregnancy in a state run general hospital in Singapore were screened for cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection before abortion. Chlamydial infection was diagnosed by taking a cervical swab, culturing the organism in tissue culture media, and identifying the inclusion bodies by dark ground fluorescent microscopy. Chlamydia trachomatis was recovered in as many as 14% of cases. None of the patients gave any history suggestive of promiscuity. Compared with gonorrhoea in the non-prostitutes sexually active women of the population studied, the incidence of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis was found to be high. Patients with positive cultures often defaulted from follow up, thus posing a genuine risk of the spread of the disease by vertical and horizontal transmission.
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