Detection of Anorectal and Cervicovaginal Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections following Azithromycin Treatment: Prospective Cohort Study with Multiple Time-Sequential Measures of rRNA, DNA, Quantitative Load and Symptoms

Nicole H. T. M. Dukers-Muijrers*, Arjen G. C. L. Speksnijder, Servaas A. Morre, Petra F. G. Wolffs, Marianne A. B. van der Sande, Antoinette A. T. P. Brink, Ingrid V. F. van den Broek, Marita I. L. S. Werner, Christian J. P. A. Hoebe

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Determination of Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) treatment success is hampered by current assessment methods, which involve a single post-treatment measurement only. Therefore, we evaluated Ct detection by applying multiple laboratory measures on time-sequential post-treatment samples. Methods: A prospective cohort study was established with azithromycin-treated (1000 mg) Ct patients (44 cervicovaginal and 15 anorectal cases). Each patient provided 18 self-taken samples pre-treatment and for 8 weeks post-treatment (response: 96%; 1,016 samples). Samples were tested for 16S rRNA (TMA), bacterial load (quantitative PCR; Chlamydia plasmid DNA) and type (serovar and multilocus sequence typing). Covariates (including behavior, pre-treatment load, anatomic site, symptoms, age, and menstruation) were tested for their potential association with positivity and load at 3-8 weeks using regression analyses controlling for repeated measures. Findings: By day 9, Ct positivity decreased to 20% and the median load to 0.3 inclusion-forming units (IFU) per ml (pre-treatment: 170 IFU/ml). Of the 35 cases who reported no sex, sex with a treated partner or safe sex with a new partner, 40% had detection, i.e. one or more positive samples from 3-8 weeks (same Ct type over time), indicating possible antimicrobial treatment failure. Cases showed intermittent positive detection and the number of positive samples was higher in anorectal cases than in cervicovaginal cases. The highest observed bacterial load between 3-8 weeks post-treatment was 313 IFU/ml, yet the majority (65%) of positive samples showed a load of
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere81236
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2013

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