Chlamydia trachomatis and chlamydial heat shock protein 60-specific antibody and cell-mediated responses predict tubal factor infertility

Hum Reprod. 2006 Jun;21(6):1533-8. doi: 10.1093/humrep/del014. Epub 2006 Feb 14.


Background: To evaluate the role of Chlamydia trachomatis-induced humoral and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses in predicting tubal factor infertility (TFI).

Methods: Blood samples were taken from 88 women with TFI and 163 control women. C. trachomatis and chlamydial heat shock protein 60 (CHSP60)-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies were analysed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Proliferative reactivity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was studied in vitro against Chlamydia elementary body (EB) and recombinant CHSP60 antigens.

Results: C. trachomatis-specific IgG antibodies were found more frequently (43.2 versus 13.5%), and the antibody levels were higher in the TFI cases than in the controls (P < 0.001). C. trachomatis EB-induced lymphocyte responses were positive in 81.8% of the TFI cases and 58.9% of the controls (P < 0.001). Similarly, CHSP60-induced lymphocyte responses were found in 45.5% of the TFI cases and 30.7% of the controls (P < 0.001). CHSP60 antibody test was the best single test predicting TFI. Compared to cases with all four markers negative, the estimated risk for TFI was 4.1 (95% CI 1.4-11.9) among those with one positive marker and 19.9 (95% CI 6.9-57.4) among those with three to four positive markers.

Conclusion: Our results show that TFI prediction model can be improved by combining tests for humoral and CMI response to chlamydial antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / chemistry*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chaperonin 60 / chemistry
  • Chaperonin 60 / immunology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / complications*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Immunoglobulin G / chemistry
  • Infertility / microbiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies
  • Chaperonin 60
  • Immunoglobulin G