Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis: results from the first national population-based survey in France
  1. V Goulet1,
  2. B de Barbeyrac2,
  3. S Raherison2,
  4. M Prudhomme3,
  5. C Semaille1,
  6. J Warszawski4,5,
  7. for the CSF group4
  1. 1Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Saint-Maurice, France
  2. 2National Reference Centre for Chlamydia, University of Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France
  3. 3Conseil Général, Saint-Denis, France
  4. 4Inserm, CESP Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, U1018, HIV Epidemiology, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, F-94276 France
  5. 5University Paris-Sud, UMRS 1018, Faculté de Médecine Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, F-94276 France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Véronique Goulet, Institut de Veille Sanitaire, 12 rue du val d'Osne, Saint-Maurice 94410, France; v.goulet{at}


Background Few studies have estimated Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) prevalence in the general population, most prevalence studies being based on people already attending healthcare settings.

Objectives To estimate the prevalence of CT in France, assess the feasibility of home sampling without any face-to-face intervention and identify risk factors associated with CT infection using data from the Contexte de la Sexualité (CSF) survey on sexual behaviour; a national population-based survey, carried out by telephone in 2006.

Methods A random subsample of sexually experienced people aged 18–44 (N=4957) were invited to participate in a CT home-sampling study (NatChla study). Participants' samples were tested for CT by PCR. Percentages were weighted for unequal selection probabilities and post-stratified based on French population census data. Independent risk factors were identified by logistic regression.

Results CT prevalence in people aged 18–44 was estimated at 1.4% (95% CI 0.8% to 2.6%) for men, and 1.6% (95% CI 1.0% to 2.5%) for women. Increased rates were found in subjects aged 18–29: 2.5% (95% CI 1.2% to 5.0%) for men and 3.2% (95% CI 2.0% to 5.3%) for women. CT infection was associated, for both genders, with having their last sexual intercourse with a casual partner. Other risk factors were for men, having last intercourse with a new partner, living in the Paris area, and for women, multiple partners during the previous year, same sex partners and a low level of education.

Conclusions CT prevalence in France is similar to that in other developed countries. Home sampling proved feasible and useful to reach members of the population with limited access to traditional care.

  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • prevalence
  • population-based
  • risk factors

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding The NatChla survey was funded by the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les hépatites (ANRS) and the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (Institut de veille sanitaire – InVS). The Institut de veille sanitaire is funded by the French Ministry of Health. The National Reference Centre is funded by a grant from the Institut de veille sanitaire.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the CNIL (Commision Nationale Informatiques et Libertés).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.