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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2005 May;12(5):654-9.

Prevalence and persistence of Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies in healthy laboratory personnel in Finland.

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National Public Health Institute, P.O. Box 310, FIN-90101 Oulu, Finland.


The rates of Chlamydia pneumoniae seroconversions suggesting acute primary infections or reinfections and the prevalences of antibodies were followed up among healthy laboratory workers. Annual serum samples were collected from 47 persons in Helsinki from 1958 to 1990 and from 40 persons in Oulu from 1994 to 1999. C. pneumoniae species-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA, and IgM antibodies were measured by microimmunofluorescence (MIF) in 407 sera from Helsinki. The 185 sera collected in Oulu were tested both by MIF and by commercial enzyme immunoassay (EIA). During the follow-up periods of 31 years in Helsinki and 6 years in Oulu, seroconversions were demonstrated by MIF in 45% and 15% of the study groups, respectively. In Helsinki 9% of the persons seroconverted twice during the follow-up period. By MIF, the total incidence rate per 100 person-years at risk was 6.9 in Helsinki and 4.9 in Oulu, and annual incidence rates varied from 0 to 15.4. By EIA, annual incidence rates in Oulu varied from 0 to 10.8. The seroconversions by MIF were usually not confirmed by EIA and vice versa. Prevalence and persistence rates, respectively, of IgA antibodies were higher in EIA (62% and 26%) than in MIF (26% and 17%), whereas the figures for IgG were quite similar. The prevalence of IgG and IgA antibodies was higher in older persons than in younger ones. The presence of antibodies did not offer protection from reinfection.

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