Is screening for pharyngeal Chlamydia trachomatis warranted in high-risk groups?

Int J STD AIDS. 2010 Nov;21(11):770-1. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2010.009494.


A recent survey reported that 36% of UK genitourinary medicine clinics offer testing for pharyngeal Chlamydia trachomatis (CT). Screening at this site is targeted at high-risk groups attending our centre, including female sex workers (FSWs) and male sex workers (MSWs). A total of 2406 patients were screened between November 2006 and October 2007. A retrospective case-note review was performed for positive cases. The prevalence of pharyngeal CT was 1.9% in both men and women. The mean number of sexual partners reported in the preceding three months was 168 and 56 for FSWs and MSWs, respectively. Lack of consistent condom use and high numbers of sexual partners identify this population as potential core transmitters of infection. While the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) guidelines do not recommend routine screening for pharyngeal CT, there may be a role in selected high-risk populations.

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Condoms
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / economics
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / microbiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / microbiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology