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Lancet. 1979 Aug 25;2(8139):377-80.

Prospective study of chlamydial infection in neonates.


Chlamydia trachomatis was recovered from the cervices of 4% (36/900) of pregnant women tested. 20 infants born through chlamydia-infected cervices were followed up for a year, as were 18 infants born to chlamydia-negative mothers. A statistically significant excess of conjunctivitis and pneumonia was found in infants exposed to chlamydia. The attack-rate for inclusion conjunctivitis was 35% (7/20) and for chlamydial pneumonia it was 20% (4/20). Chlamydiae were recovered from 10 of the 20 (50%) exposed infants, and seroconversion was demonstrated in 14 (70%). None of the 18 unexposed infants showed evidence of chlamydial infection. Thus in our clinic 2.8% of all newborns acquired chlamydial infection, with incidence-rates of 14 cases of conjunctivitis and 8 cases of pneumonia per 1000 live births. Neonatal chlamydial infection is thus a major public-health problem warranting a preventive programme based on the fuller provision of diagnostic services and the treatment of infected pregnant women.

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