0
Editorials |

Asymptomatic Respiratory Infection With Chlamydia pneumoniae: What Does It Mean?

Margaret R. Hammerschlag, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Brooklyn, NY 
 ,  Dr. Hammerschlag is the Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and the Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Correspondence to: Margaret R. Hammerschlag, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Box 49, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098; e-mail: mhammerschlag@pol.net



Chest. 2001;119(5):1303-1305. doi:10.1378/chest.119.5.1303-a
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Extract

One of the distinguishing characteristics of members of the genus Chlamydia is the ability to cause prolonged, often subclinical infection. It has been recognized for years that the majority of genital infections with Chlamydia trachomatis are asymptomatic, especially in women.1 It is also recognized that asymptomatic C trachomatis infections are not trivial; they can be associated with significant sequelae.2 In this issue of CHEST (see page 1416), Miyashita et al add to the growing number of studies that demonstrate that Chlamydia pneumoniae is also capable of causing asymptomatic infection, but in the respiratory tract. The data presented by Miyashita et al are not new but represent the largest prospective evaluation of asymptomatic infection presented thus far. They screened 1,028 healthy, asymptomatic adults over a 6-year period by obtaining nasopharyngeal swabs for C pneumoniae culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, as well as obtaining sera for anti-C pneumoniae antibodies, using the microimmunofluorescence (MIF) method. The overall rate of C pneumoniae infection was 1.4%, ranging from 0 to 3.2% over the 6 years of the study. These numbers are very similar to the 2 to 5% rates of asymptomatic infection in adults and children reported in several studies4 from the United States. Of the 14 culture-positive and/or PCR-positive individuals reported by Miyashita et al, 3 of 10 patients from whom follow-up specimens were obtained remained positive for periods up to 12 weeks. The other patients appeared to have spontaneously cleared their infections. Persistent respiratory infection with C pneumoniae has been documented for periods up to 8 years.5

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543