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Chlamydia trachomatis IgG seroprevalence in the general population of the Netherlands in 1996 and in 2007: differential changes by gender and age


Objectives Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) reporting rates from sexually transmitted infection clinics and general practitioners have shown a rising trend in the Netherlands. It is unknown to what extent this reflects increased CT transmission or improved case finding. To achieve more insight into the CT epidemic, we explored the CT IgG seroprevalence (a marker of past CT infection) in the general population of the Netherlands in 1996 and in 2007.

Methods From two population-based studies in 1996 and 2007, serum samples, demographic and sexual behaviour outcomes were examined, including 1246 men and 1930 women aged 15–39 years. Serum CT IgG antibodies were analysed using the Medac CT IgG ELISA test. Multivariate logistic regression analyses explored the seroprevalence and determinants over time.

Results The CT IgG seroprevalence was higher in women than in men (10% vs 6%). Among women aged 25–39 years the seroprevalence was lower in 2007 (9%) than in 1996 (14%; adjusted OR (aOR) 0.6, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.8). There was no statistical evidence of a difference in seroprevalence within birth cohorts. Factors associated with seropositivity were male gender (aOR 0.4, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.7), a self-reported history of CT infection (aOR 5.1, 95% CI 2.6 to 10.0), age 25–39 years (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.7), non-Western ethnicity (aOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4 to 3.3) and ≥2 recent sexual partners (aOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.5).

Conclusions Between 1996 and 2007 the proportion of individuals in the general population with CT IgG antibodies was lower among women aged 25–39 years, but remained similar among younger women and men.


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