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Keywords:

  • Chlamydia trachomatis;
  • genital infection;
  • screening programme;
  • sexually transmitted disease

Abstract

Genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection is the leading cause of bacterial sexually transmitted disease in industrialised countries, particularly among young people. The consequences of chlamydial infection may involve urethritis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, tubal factor infertility, epididymitis and prostatitis. In addition, chlamydial infection increases the risk of acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus and has been associated with cervical cancer. Although screening programmes exist in a number of countries, the continuously increasing prevalence of chlamydial infections demonstrates the necessity for health authorities to establish effective screening policies, and the importance of defining a comprehensive European screening policy is emerging.