Seven days of doxycycline is an effective treatment for asymptomatic rectal Chlamydia trachomatis infection

Int J STD AIDS. 2011 Aug;22(8):474-7. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2011.011134. Epub 2011 Jul 15.


There are no evidence-based guidelines for the specific management of rectal Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection. All men who have sex with men (MSM) diagnosed with asymptomatic rectal CT by nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) at a large London genitourinary (GU) medicine clinic between September 2006 and September 2009 were offered oral doxycycline 100 mg twice daily for seven days and invited for a test of cure (TOC) by CT NAAT four weeks after treatment. A total of 487 asymptomatic rectal CT infections were diagnosed and analysis was restricted to 165 TOCs from men whose only treatment had been doxycycline for seven days. The median time post-treatment for TOC was 45 days (interquartile range [IQR], 34-88). Only two patients tested CT-positive at follow-up. One had taken doxycycline only for three days; the other attended for TOC 240 days after the completion of doxycycline treatment and at this time presented with new symptoms in the context of ongoing high sexual risk. Our findings show that doxycycline 100 mg twice daily for seven days is highly effective treatment for asymptomatic rectal CT infection, achieving clearance of CT in 98.8% (163/165; 95% CI 95.4-99.9%) of cases. We advocate doxycycline for seven days as first-line therapy for asymptomatic rectal CT.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asymptomatic Infections
  • Chlamydia Infections / drug therapy*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • Doxycycline / administration & dosage*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Rectal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Rectal Diseases / microbiology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Doxycycline