Hong Kong Med J 2007;13:22-6 | Number 1, February 2007
Incidence of neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis and its association with nasopharyngeal colonisation in a Hong Kong hospital, assessed by polymerase chain reaction
TPP Yip, WH Chan, KT Yip, TL Que, MM Lee, NS Kwong, CK Ho
Department of Ophthalmology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tsing Chung Koon Road, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. Using polymerase chain reactions, this study aimed to evaluate the incidence of neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis in our region of Hong Kong and explore any association between such conjunctivitis and nasopharyngeal colonisation with Chlamydia trachomatis.
DESIGN. Prospective epidemiological study.
SETTING. Regional hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Consecutive patients with neonatal conjunctivitis presenting to our hospital were recruited from May 2004 to April 2005 inclusive. Both eyes were investigated separately for Chlamydia trachomatis by polymerase chain reaction, direct immunofluorescent assay, and cell culture by two assigned ophthalmologists. Neonates diagnosed to have ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection were subjected to additional nasopharyngeal investigations. Complete sets of ocular and nasopharyngeal investigations were also undertaken 1 week after oral erythromycin treatment to confirm complete eradication of Chlamydia trachomatis.
RESULTS. Of 192 patients with neonatal conjunctivitis, 24 were diagnosed to have chlamydial conjunctivitis. Fifteen of them had nasopharyngeal colonisation with Chlamydia trachomatis. Among the 20 neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis patients that completed the follow-up study, one suffered treatment failure. None had clinically diagnosed systemic Chlamydia trachomatis infection 3 months after oral erythromycin.
CONCLUSIONS. The incidence of neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis in our region of Hong Kong was 4 in 1000 live births, of whom 63% had nasopharyngeal presence of Chlamydia trachomatis. Owing to the high rate of nasopharyngeal isolation and possibility of treatment failure, post-treatment ocular and nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction testing for Chlamydia trachomatis may be considered to confirm complete eradication.
Key words: Chlamydia infections; Chlamydia trachomatis; Conjunctivitis, bacterial; Nasopharyngeal diseases; Polymerase chain reaction
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