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J Perinatol. 1992 Sep;12(3):300-2.

An interesting case presentation: a possible new route for perinatal acquisition of Chlamydia.

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District of Columbia General Hospital, Washington 20003.


Chlamydia trachomatis is currently the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The prevalence in pregnant women ranges between 2% and 47%. It is well known that C trachomatis can be transmitted from the genital tract of an infected mother to her newborn infant, causing conjunctivitis or pneumonia or both, along with their longstanding complications. A review of the literature failed to show, however, conclusive evidence of transmission of infection to the newborn infant when the infant was born by cesarean section with intact amniotic membranes. We present a case of a young black woman with a history of chlamydia cervicitis during pregnancy whose infant was delivered by cesarean section because of failure to progress. She gave birth to a healthy term infant who developed ophthalmia neonatorum on the 3rd day of life. Examinations of conjunctival scrapings with direct fluorescent staining (chlamydia MicroTrak) performed on the 1st and 3rd day of life were positive. The initial test was performed because of the maternal history. The infant was mildly symptomatic at the time the study was repeated for confirmation. Our findings strongly suggest the possibility of either transmembrane or transplacental route of infection in the pathogenesis of neonatal chlamydia infection. Further study is needed to confirm this possibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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