Discordant prevalence of chlamydia trachomatis in asymptomatic couples screened using urine ligase chain reaction

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 May;20(5):324-8. doi: 10.1007/pl00011271.


The following study was conducted to determine whether there would be an effect on the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis if both partners in a sexual relationship, rather than only one, underwent screening. First-void urine samples were collected from 1,690 asymptomatic women (mean age, 30 years; range, 15-70 years) and their male sex partners (mean age, 33 years; range, 16-71 years). The duration of sexual partnership for these subjects ranged from 2 months to more than 10 years.. At the time of testing, 687 of the women were pregnant. Ligase chain reaction testing revealed that 42 (2.5%) female and 63 (3.7%) male urine samples were positive. Detection rates for Chlamydia trachomatis differed for males and females, a difference that was found to be significant (P<0.0046, McNemar chi-square). Both partners tested positive in 27 (1.6%) couples, whereas at least one partner tested positive in 78 (4.6%) couples. Thus, screening males for Chlamydia trachomatis would have identified 63 (81%) of these 78 couples compared with only 42 (54%) couples had females been screened exclusively. In standard clinical practice, women most often undergo screening. The results of this study underscore the need to screen both males and females for Chlamydia trachomatis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / urine
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / genetics
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / urine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ligase Chain Reaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spouses


  • DNA, Bacterial