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Urogenital Chlamydia trachomatis strain types, defined by high-resolution multilocus sequence typing, in relation to ethnicity and urogenital symptoms among a young screening population in Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Introduction Previous studies found conflicting results regarding associations between urogenital Chlamydia trachomatis infections and ethnicity or urogenital symptoms among at-risk populations using either ompA-based genotyping or high-resolution multilocus sequence typing (MLST). This study applied high-resolution MLST on samples of individuals from a selected young urban screening population to assess the relationship of C. trachomatis strain types with ethnicity and self-reported urogenital symptoms. Demographic and sexual risk behaviour characteristics of the identified clusters were also analysed.

Methods We selected C. trachomatis-positive samples from the Dutch Chlamydia Screening Implementation study among young individuals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. All samples were typed using high-resolution MLST. Clusters were assigned using minimum spanning tree analysis and were combined with epidemiological data of the participants.

Results We obtained full MLST data for C. trachomatis-positive samples from 439 participants and detected nine ompA genovars. MLST analysis identified 175 sequence types and six large clusters; in one cluster, participants with Surinamese/Antillean ethnicity were over-represented (58.8%) and this cluster predominantly consisted of genovar I. In addition, we found one cluster with an over-representation of participants with Dutch ethnicity (90.0%) and which solely consisted of genovar G. No association was observed between C. trachomatis clusters and urogenital symptoms.

Conclusions We found an association between urogenital C. trachomatis clusters and ethnicity among young screening participants in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. However, no association was found between C. trachomatis clusters and self-reported urogenital symptoms.


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