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Screening for Chlamydia trachomatis in asymptomatic women attending outpatient clinics in a large maternity hospital in Dublin, Ireland
  1. H M McMillan1,
  2. H O’Carroll2,
  3. J S Lambert3,
  4. K B Grundy3,
  5. M O’Reilly2,
  6. B Lennon3,
  7. C Collins4,
  8. T A Walsh1,
  9. M P Geary1,
  10. M T Cafferkey3,5
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Midwifery, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Department of Microbiology, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4Department of Statistics, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  5. 5Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J S Lambert
 Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, University College Dublin, 40 Eccles Street, Room S-15, Dublin 7, Ireland; jlambert{at}


Background:Chlamydia trachomatis can cause a sexually transmitted infection, which, untreated, may result in considerable morbidity.

Methods: A prevalence study was conducted for C trachomatis using nucleic acid amplification technology in asymptomatic women, and certain risk factors that may be used to direct future screening strategies were assessed.

Results: The study population comprised 945 asymptomatic women, of whom 783 were attending antenatal clinics, 91 were attending infertility clinics and 71 were attending family planning clinics. An overall C trachomatis prevalence of 3.7% (35/945) was found, with the highest prevalence of 11.2% (22/196) in Irish single women aged <25 years. Logistic regression analysis showed that single status and age <25 years were independent, statistically significant predictors of C trachomatis infection.

Conclusion: These results support routine screening of asymptomatic women who are sexually active and aged <25 years. An opportunist active screening of all sexually active women independent of age should be additionally considered if resources permit.

  • NAAT, nucleic acid amplification technology

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  • Funding: This study was funded by the Women’s’ Health Unit of the Eastern Regional Health Authority, Dublin, Ireland.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethical approval: The Rotunda Hospital Research Ethics Committee approved this trial.