Chlamydia trachomatis may infect the placenta and subsequently lead to preterm delivery. Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis and signs of placental inflammation in women who delivered at 32 weeks gestation or less.
Setting: placental histology and clinical data were prospectively obtained from 304 women and newborns at the Erasmus MC-Sophia, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. C. trachomatis testing of placentas was done retrospectively using PCR. C. trachomatis was detected in 76 (25%) placentas. Histological evidence of placental inflammation was present in 123 (40%) placentas: in 41/76 (54%) placentas with C. trachomatis versus 82/228 (36%) placentas without C. trachomatis infection (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.5). C. trachomatis infection correlated with the progression (P = 0.009) and intensity (P = 0.007) of materno-fetal placental inflammation. C. trachomatis DNA was frequently detected in the placenta of women with early preterm delivery, and was associated with histopathological signs of placental inflammation.