Antibiotic consumption and chlamydia prevalence in international studies

Sex Health. 2006 Dec;3(4):221-4. doi: 10.1071/sh06013.


Background: To determine whether there is an ecological association between antibiotic use and chlamydia prevalence.

Methods: A systematic review was undertaken of international studies on chlamydia prevalence among women aged 15-25 years published between 2000 and 2005. Preference was given to studies using nucleic acid testing and representative population-based sampling methods. Data were obtained on per capita antibiotic consumption according to the defined daily dose.

Results: For the 12 countries for which both antibiotic consumption and relevant prevalence data for chlamydia were available, a non-significant negative correlation was found between total antibiotic consumption per capita and chlamydia prevalence among younger women according to country (r(s) = -0.242, P = 0.449). When an outlier (from the Netherlands) was excluded, the correlation was significant (r(s) = -0.615, P = 0.044). Combined use of tetracyclines and macrolides was also associated with lower chlamydia prevalence (r(s) = -0.697, P = 0.017).

Conclusions: It is possible that antibiotics used for other reasons may have unexpectedly reduced the prevalence of chlamydia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / epidemiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents