Aim: To clarify the endemic and epidemic status of Chlamydia pneumoniae in Japan, the incidence of anti-C pneumoniae antibody was evaluated over a period of 10 years.
Method: Serum samples were collected from 4756 healthy individuals aged 6 months to 88 years (2488 male and 2268 female individuals) between 1991 and 2000. The antibody titre was determined by a microimmunofluorescence test.
Results: After stratification by age and sex in each year, distinct peaks with prevalences of 73.3% and 73.0% were noted in 1993 and 1999, respectively. The lowest prevalence rate was seen in 1996 (59.0%). The epidemic cycle has been estimated to be almost six years in this geographical area.
Conclusions: Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is highly endemic in Japan, as it is in Western countries, and there is a year to year variability. Long term studies in Japan are needed to clarify the epidemic occurrence of C pneumoniae infection.