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Open Access Research article

No indication for tissue tropism in urogenital and anorectal Chlamydia trachomatis infections using high-resolution multilocus sequence typing

Bart Versteeg1, Martijn S van Rooijen123, Maarten F Schim van der Loeff24, Henry JC de Vries345 and Sylvia M Bruisten14*

Author Affiliations

1 Public Health Laboratory, Cluster Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Research, Cluster Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 STI outpatient clinic, Cluster Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4 Center for Infections and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

5 Department of Dermatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:464  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-464

Published: 26 August 2014

Abstract

Background

Previous studies showed that C. trachomatis strains found in MSM are different from those in heterosexuals. This study investigates whether the differences in strain distribution between MSM and heterosexuals are due to tissue tropism.

Methods

C. trachomatis positive samples were collected from MSM (anorectal) and women (anorectal, cervical, vaginal, pharyngeal) visiting the STI outpatient clinic of Amsterdam between 2008 and 2013. All samples were typed using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Epidemiological data were derived from electronic patient records.

Results

We obtained full MLST data for C. trachomatis from 207 MSM and 185 women, all with anorectal infections. Six large clusters were identified of which 3 consisted predominantly of samples from women (89%-100%), whereas the other 3 consisted predominantly of samples from MSM (97%-100%). Furthermore, we obtained full MLST data from 434 samples of 206 women with concurrent infections at multiple anatomical locations. No association was observed between C. trachomatis cluster and the anatomical location of infection.

Conclusion

We found no indication for tissue tropism in urogenital, pharyngeal and anorectal C. trachomatis infections. Combined with results from previously conducted studies, we hypothesize that MSM and heterosexuals have different distributions of C. trachomatis strains due to their separate sexual networks.

Keywords:
Chlamydia trachomatis; High-resolution genotyping; Cluster analysis; Men who have sex with men; Sexually transmitted infections