Objectives There are few data on the distribution of specific Chlamydia trachomatis serovars among men who have sex with men (MSM) outside clinical settings. To investigate these patterns, serovar determination was performed on chlamydia-positive samples from two community-based cohort studies of HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM in Sydney, Australia.
Methods From January 2005 to June 2007 all positive C trachomatis pharyngeal, urine and anal samples were evaluated. The serovar of each C trachomatis infection was determined by omp1 gene sequencing with confirmatory quantitative PCR screening. Symptom data were routinely reported by study participants at the time of testing.
Results Serovar determination was possible for 54 samples among 52 participants. Seven samples were not able to be typed. Site-specific symptoms were reported by fewer than 10% of participants diagnosed with pharyngeal and anogenital chlamydia. The most commonly identified serovars were serovar D (n=32, 59.3%, 95% CI 45.0 to 72.4), followed by serovar G (n=11, 20.4%, 95% CI 10.6 to 33.5) and serovar J (n=5, 9.3%, 95% CI 3.1 to 20.3). Only one lymphogranuloma venereum serovar was identified (L2b).
Conclusions This community-based study found a similar distribution of chlamydia serovars to that observed among Australian community-based MSM several years ago, and serovar distribution recently observed among predominantly symptomatic MSM at a Sydney clinic. These findings suggest little change in C trachomatis serovar distribution in Australian MSM over the past decade and a lack of correlation of specific chlamydia serovars with anogenital symptoms among MSM.
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- cohort studies
- Kaposi's sarcoma
- molecular typing
- risk factors
- sexual behaviour
- STD control
- STD surveillance
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Funding The Kirby Institute is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the position of the Australian Government. The Health in Men Cohort study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services (NIH/NIAID/DAIDS: HVDDT award N01-AI-05395), the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia (NHMRC, project grant no 400944), the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (Canberra), and the New South Wales Health Department (Sydney). The Positive Health Cohort study was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (Canberra) and the New South Wales Health Department (Sydney). The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the position of the Australian Government. Testing materials for gonorrhoea and chlamydia were provided by Becton Dickinson Pty Ltd. DJT is supported by a NHMRC training fellowship (no 1013353), FJ is supported by a NHMRC training fellowship (no 571402), AEG is supported by a NHMRC principal research fellowship (no 568819).
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study received ethics approval from the Ethics Committee of the University of New South Wales.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.