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PLoS One. 2017 Sep 25;12(9):e0185059. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185059. eCollection 2017.

Detailed molecular epidemiology of Chlamydia trachomatis in the population of Southampton attending the genitourinary medicine clinic in 2012-13 reveals the presence of long established genotypes and transitory sexual networks.

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Molecular Microbiology, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.
Department of GU Medicine, Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton, United Kingdom.
Public Health England, Public Health Laboratory Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, United Kingdom.


Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in England. Our objective was to perform a detailed survey of the molecular epidemiology of C. trachomatis in the population of Southampton UK attending the genitourinary medicine clinic (GUM) to seek evidence of sexual network activity. Our hypothesis was that certain genotypes can be associated with specific demographic determinants. 380 positive samples were collected from 375 C. trachomatis positive GUM attendees out of the 3118 who consented to be part of the survey. 302 of the positive samples were fully genotyped. All six of the predominant genotypes possessed ompA locus type E. One ward of Southampton known to contain a large proportion of students had a different profile of genotypes compared to other areas of the city. Some genotypes appeared embedded in the city population whilst others appeared transient. Predominant circulating genotypes remain stable within a city population whereas others are sporadic. Sexual networks could be inferred but not conclusively identified using the data from this survey.

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