Sex Transm Infect 80:349-353 doi:10.1136/sti.2003.008615
  • Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis prevalence in men in the mid-west of Ireland

  1. J Powell1,
  2. C O’Connor2,
  3. M Ó’hĺarlaithe3,
  4. J Saunders4,
  5. J de Freitas1
  1. 1Microbiology Department, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, Ireland
  2. 2Department of GU-STD, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, Ireland
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, Ireland
  4. 4Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Limerick, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr J Powell
 Department of Microbiology, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, Limerick City, Ireland;
  • Accepted 19 February 2004


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of chlamydia infection in young men in the Mid-Western Health Board Region of Ireland, and to determine risk factors for its acquisition.

Methods: Consecutive men attending orthopaedic clinics (OPD), and a university sports arena (UL) were recruited to a chlamydia prevalence study. All men aged 17–35 who had been sexually active and had not passed urine in the last hour were eligible. Information about chlamydia was given, informed consent obtained, and a self administered questionnaire was completed. A first void urine (FVU) was collected and tested by ligase chain reaction (LCR).

Results: 82% (207/252) of men from OPD, and 60% (186/310) from UL participated. 6.3% (13/207) from the OPD and 5.4% (10/186) from UL tested LCR positive, giving an overall prevalence of 5.9% (23/393). Proved risk factors for chlamydial positivity were: (1) more than one sexual partner in previous 6 months, (2) more than eight lifetime sexual partners, (3) current symptoms (dysuria or discharge). No statistical significance was found for age, condom use, smoking, days since last sexual intercourse and previous GUM clinic attendance. No statistically significant difference to cost effective prevalence of 6% was shown.

Conclusions: A 5.9% prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis was found which is cost effective to screen and treat. Non-invasive screening of men in the community was possible. Numbers of sexual partners and current symptoms were significant risk factors. Since only 25% of men in this laboratory were diagnosed with chlamydia outside the GUM clinic, compared with 59% of women, it is important that community screening of men is promoted.