Objective: To investigate the relationship of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) outer membrane protein A (OmpA) type to the clearance of CT infection before treatment.
Methods: CT OmpA genotyping, with amplification and sequencing of ompA, was utilised to study the natural history of CT infection (spontaneous resolution vs persistence) in 102 individuals with chlamydia-positive screening tests returning for treatment.
Results: CT OmpA distribution was associated with spontaneous resolution of CT, most notably with CT OmpA genotype J/Ja detected more often from the initial screening CT test than other genotypes in those who then had spontaneous resolution of CT noted at the time of treatment. Five individuals with presumed persisting CT infection had discordant CT OmpA genotypes at the screening and treatment visits, suggesting possible new interval CT infection.
Conclusions: Clearance of chlamydia by the host before treatment may be influenced by the CT OmpA genotype infecting the host. CT OmpA genotyping may be a valuable tool in understanding the natural history of chlamydial infections.
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Funding: This work was supported partly by grant no R03 AI 57920 (Geisler) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: The study was approved by institutional review boards of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Jefferson County Department of Health.
Change in affiliation since study completion: SM’s affiliation has changed since study completion to the Department of Microbiology, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
Contributors: WMG designed the study and carried out the collection of clinical data. All authors contributed to the collection of laboratory data. WMG performed the statistical analyses. WMG wrote the manuscript with contributions from all authors.