Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2007; 9(4):351-360
Our study showed that chlamydiae were present in the blood from patients with genital and other chlamydial infections. Blood samples tested were positive for C. trachomatis in 92.3% of patients with confirmed chlamydial infection when culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used concomitantly. Isolated chlamydiae strains were able to cause infection, indicating the hematogenous spread of C. trachomatis in the human body. The pathogen was present in both the genital tract mucosa and the serum in patients with acute genital chlamydial infection. However, C. trachomatis was isolated much more frequently from the serum than the genital specimens in patients with chronic genital infection or extragenital infection (25.5% vs 6.4% in chronic infection; 54.9% vs 31.3% in arthritis). Therefore, serum testing for C. trachomatis in patients with chronic or complicated forms of chlamydial infection is a novel approach to direct detection of the pathogen regardless of site of infection. This approach may also be appropriate for the screening of asymptomatic patients.