Duration of untreated, uncomplicated Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection and factors associated with chlamydia resolution: a review of human studies

J Infect Dis. 2010 Jun 15;201 Suppl 2:S104-13. doi: 10.1086/652402.


The majority of Chlamydia trachomatis genital infections in humans are asymptomatic and without clinical evidence of complications at the time of diagnosis. The natural history of chlamydial infection in humans, including the duration of infection and factors influencing resolution of infection, is not yet completely understood. This is in part attributable to the inherent challenges and ethical considerations in studying untreated chlamydia in humans. An improved understanding of the natural history of chlamydia in humans has implications for chlamydia screening and treatment recommendations. In April 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened an advisory group for the Chlamydia Immunology and Control Expert Advisory Meeting, in which studies related to chlamydia natural history, pathogenesis, and immunobiology were reviewed and gaps in our knowledge that would have implications for prevention and control of C. trachomatis infection were identified. This article summarizes the key questions posed and the evidence reviewed on the duration of untreated, uncomplicated genital chlamydial infection in humans and the factors associated with chlamydia resolution.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / genetics
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / physiopathology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / physiology*
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / genetics
  • Genital Diseases, Female / immunology
  • Genital Diseases, Female / microbiology
  • Genital Diseases, Female / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors