PMID: 8513644Mar 1, 1993

Infection due to Chlamydia trachomatis in pregnancy and the newborn

Baillière's Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
J R Smith, D Taylor-Robinson


Bacteria in the genus Chlamydia comprise three species, C. trachomatis, C. psittaci and C. pneumoniae. C. trachomatis infection is common, varying in prevalence in women from 0% to 37%. In the United States, the prevalence rate is estimated currently to be about 5%. Pregnancy may predispose to an increased chance of infection with C. trachomatis, through physiological immunosuppression and/or cervical ectopy. Maternal antibodies to C. trachomatis provide limited, if any, protection for the newborn. C. trachomatis causes pelvic inflammatory disease--which can result in tubal infertility or ectopic pregnancy and postabortal or late postpartum endometritis. It may also cause chorioamnionitis and premature delivery of the fetus. The incidence of vertical transmission of chlamydiae from mother to baby varies; if the mother is untreated, 20-50% of the newborns will develop conjunctivitis and 10-20% will develop pneumonia. C. psittaci infection in pregnancy is rare, but can cause spontaneous abortion. Whether C. pneumoniae infection in pregnancy has any influence on the outcome has not been ascertained. C. trachomatis can be detected by one or more of several methods; enzyme immunoassays are the least sensitive, but the most widely us...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Chlamydia Infections
Chlamydia trachomatis
Pregnancy Complications, Infectious

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