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Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Apr;24(4):653-60.

Association of antibodies to Chlamydia trachomatis heat-shock protein 60 kD with chronic nongonococcal urethritis.

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  • 1Department of Genitourinary Medicine and Communicable Diseases, Imperial College School of Medicine at St. Mary's, London, United Kingdom.


Ninety male patients with acute nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) who presented for follow-up 10-92 days after initiation of treatment were evaluated. A polymerase chain reaction assay and direct fluorescence antibody test were used to detect Chlamydia trachomatis at presentation and during follow-up. Chlamydial heat-shock protein 60 kD (hsp60) serology with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and C. trachomatis serology with a microimmunofluoresence test were undertaken. In 62 (69%) of the men, evidence of chronic urethritis was noted during follow-up. C. trachomatis was detected in only two patients during follow-up. Chlamydial hsp60 antibody was associated with the development of chronic urethritis between 10 and 92 days after treatment began (P < .04), that is, at 10-29 days (P < .02) and at 30-92 days (P < .008). These results are consistent with the theory that immune response to hsp60 is important in the development of this chronic disease. The results also suggest that chronic NGU is not a consequence of continued production of hsp60 by C. trachomatis.

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