Chlamydia control activities in Europe: cross-sectional survey

Eur J Public Health. 2012 Aug;22(4):556-61. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr046. Epub 2011 Apr 29.


Background: Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in Europe. The objective of the Screening for Chlamydia in Europe (SCREen) project was to describe current and planned chlamydia control activities in Europe.

Methods: The authors sent a questionnaire asking about different aspects of chlamydia epidemiology and control to public health and clinical experts in each country in 2007. The principles of sexually transmitted infection control were used to develop a typology comprising five categories of chlamydia control activities. Each country was assigned to a category, based on responses to the questionnaire.

Results: Experts in 29 of 33 (88%) invited countries responded. Thirteen of 29 countries (45%) had no current chlamydia control activities. Six countries in this group stated that there were plans to introduce chlamydia screening programmes. There were five countries (17%) with case management guidelines only. Three countries (10%) also recommended case finding amongst partners of diagnosed chlamydia cases or people with another sexually transmitted infection. Six countries (21%) further specified groups of asymptomatic people eligible for opportunistic chlamydia testing. Two countries (7%) reported a chlamydia screening programme. There was no consistent association between the per capita gross domestic product of a country and the intensity of chlamydia control activities (P = 0.816).

Conclusion: A newly developed classification system allowed the breadth of ongoing national chlamydia control activities to be described and categorized. Chlamydia control strategies should ensure that clinical guidelines to optimize chlamydia diagnosis and case management have been implemented before considering the appropriateness of screening programmes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / prevention & control*
  • Communicable Disease Control / methods*
  • Communicable Disease Control / statistics & numerical data
  • Contact Tracing
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Public Health
  • Sexual Partners
  • Surveys and Questionnaires