Chlamydia trachomatis Pgp3 Antibody Persists and Correlates with Self-Reported Infection and Behavioural Risks in a Blinded Cohort Study

Paddy J Horner, Gillian S Wills, Antoinette Righarts, Sueli Vieira, Daphne Kounali, Dhanraj Samuel, Alan Winston, David Muir, Nigel P Dickson, Myra O McClure

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Abstract

Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) serological studies in populations could help monitor changes in lifetime cumulative risk of infection. We developed a double-antigen sandwich ELISA based on the Ct-specific Pgp3 antigen, then tested blind stored sera from over 800 participants in a New Zealand birth cohort from Dunedin at ages 26, 32 and 38. The double-antigen sandwich ELISA was more sensitive than our previously characterised indirect Pgp3 ELISA. Pgp3 antibody was detected more often in women compared to men and correlated with increasing numbers of sexual partners, self-reported Ct, and younger age at sexual debut in both women and men. At age 26, 24.1% (99/411) of women were Pgp3 seropositive, as were 79.5% (35/44) of those reporting Ct infection; Pgp3 antibody persisted to age 38 in 96.5% (83/86). In men at age 26, the figures were 10.7% (47/442) and 25.0% (6/24), respectively, with high (83.9%) antibody persistence to age 38. At age 38, among those Pgp3 seropositive, 63.3% of women and 83.1% of men had not reported Ct infection. Thus, Ct-specific Pgp3 antibody was detected in most women reporting Ct infection and correlated with risk of infection in those who did not, with most infections remaining undetected. As this antibody persisted for at least twelve years in 96% of these women, serology could be used to evaluate Ct prevention programmes among women.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0151497
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2016

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