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Indian J Med Res. 2012 Dec;136(6):1004-10.

Ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infections in patients attending a tertiary eye care hospital in north India: a twelve year study.

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  • 1Department of Ocular Microbiology, Dr R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Science, New Delhi, India.



Ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis is a major public health problem in densely populated countries like India. The true prevalence of such infections is uncertain due to insufficient data available from India. The aim of this study was to do a retrospective analysis of C. trachomatis eye infections in patients attending the outpatient department of Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, over a period of 12 years.


From 1997 to 2008, the Chlamydia laboratory received conjunctival swabs from 1281 consecutive patients for C. trachomatis detection after thorough clinical examination. Specimens were subjected to direct fluorescent antigen detection assay using monoclonal antibody based commercial kit to detect the presence of C. trachomatis antigen.


Antigen positivity varied between 22-28 per cent. Children below 11 yr and people above the age of 60 yr showed comparatively higher antigen positivity (25.7 and 27.8%, respectively). As compared to males significantly (P<0.05) higher number of females in the age group of 31-60 yr were positive for C. trachomatis antigen. Patients with the clinical diagnosis of follicular/allergic conjunctivitis and trachoma showed higher rate of antigen positivity.


Northern India having dry and arid climatic conditions in most parts of the year was considered in the past as one of the trachoma hyper-endemic foci. The study indicated that laboratory proven C. trachomatis eye infection still persisted in this part of the country throughout the study period of 12 years.

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