Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae among asymptomatic women attending the Capital Health region clinics in Kuwait

Sex Transm Dis. 2011 Sep;38(9):793-7. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31821c36fe.


Background: Data on the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infections are not available in Kuwait. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of CT and NG in asymptomatic women attending 4 primary health care clinics in the Capital Health region.

Methods: A total of 9239 married women who attended the primary health care centers were offered screening tests for CT and NG over a period of 5 years. Of these, 8539 (92.4%) accepted participation. Low-vaginal secretions were collected and investigated using a molecular strand displacement amplification method. Biodata of all participating women were carefully recorded including age, parity, and nationality. Unmarried women were excluded since nonmarital sex in Kuwait is illegal.

Results: Of the 8539 women screened, 69.5% were Kuwaitis while 30.5% were non-Kuwaitis. About 51.3% were aged ≤40 years. The overall prevalence of CT and NG was 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively. The prevalence rates of CT and NG in Kuwaitis versus non-Kuwaitis were 1.9% and 2.3% and 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively. Both CT and NG were detected more in younger than older women; 1.6% versus 0.5% (≤40 years) and 1.2% versus 0.3% (>40 years), respectively. Higher prevalence of both infections was recorded in women in monogamous than polygamous marriages and in illiterate than educated women.

Conclusions: The prevalence of CT and NG among asymptomatic women in Kuwait is low compared with rates from other Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Consequently, screening of asymptomatic women is not cost effective and is questionable.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asymptomatic Infections / epidemiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Gonorrhea / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Kuwait / epidemiology
  • Mass Screening / economics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Spouses
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Young Adult