Author(s): Malathi J, Madhavan HN, Therese KL, Joseph PR
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Abstract BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Very few studies have been done in India to determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis causing conjunctivitis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. Hence the prevalence of primary conjunctivitis due to C. trachomatis among individuals attending ophthalmic hospitals in Chennai was determined and compared with our earlier results. METHODS: A total of 328 conjunctival swabs from 255 (both eyes 73 and one eye 182) patients were investigated by fluorescent antibody test (FAT) on direct smears, culture and PCRs for cryptic plasmid and major outer membrane protein (MOMPI) gene of C. trachomatis. An infant with ophthalmia neonatorum was also included. RESULTS: Among these 328 specimens processed, 16 (4.9\%) from 12 (4.7\%) patients were positive by cryptic plasmid PCR. Among these, 3 from 2 patients were positive by FAT (direct smear), culture and PCR for MOMP 1 gene. Both eyes of the infant with ophthalmia neonatorum were positive by all the methods. The sensitivity of FAT and culture (18.8\%) was lower compared to PCR. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSION: A significant decrease in the prevalence of adult chlamydial conjunctivitis has occurred in the 10-year period among patients reporting to the ophthalmic hospitals in Chennai. PCR using cryptic plasmid primers was found to be the most sensitive method to detect C. trachomatis in patients with conjunctivitis.
This article was published in Indian J Med Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology