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Epidemiol Infect. 1989 Apr;102(2):287-95.

The seroepidemiology of Chlamydiae in Finland over the period 1971 to 1987.

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Department of Virology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


The seroepidemiology of chlamydial infections in the Finnish population was studied by analysing the prevalence of chlamydial complement fixing (CF) antibodies in patients sera sent for virus serological screening tests over 17 years from 1971 to 1987. The total number of sera studied was over 160,000. In the early 1970s, the prevalence of chlamydial CF antibodies (CF titres greater than or equal to 8) was low (less than 2%), but later the proportion of seropositive cases rose, and in 1976, 18% of sera contained antibodies. In 1984, the seropositivity rate was over 31%. The prevalence of high chlamydial CF titres (titres greater than or equal to 64) also showed annual variation. In general, under 1% of sera contained chlamydial CF antibodies in high titre, but in 1979 and 1984, distinct peaks occurred when 1.3% and 1.4% of sera, respectively, had titres greater than or equal to 64. The age-related antibody positivity rate showed a decline during early infancy, an increase in childhood and adolescence, and a stable level in adulthood when approximately 20% of the sera contained antibodies. The chlamydial antigen used in this survey was genus-specific, i.e. it detects antibodies against all chlamydial species. Epidemiological data support the hypothesis that infections due to a novel chlamydial species, TWAR chlamydia, are the most likely explanation for the relatively frequent occurrence of chlamydial CF antibodies and for the variation in CF antibody prevalence.

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