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A retrospective seroepidemiologic survey of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in patients in Beijing between 2008 and 2017.

A new interesting article has been published in PLoS One. 2018 Nov 7;13(11):e0206995. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206995. eCollection 2018. and titled:

A retrospective seroepidemiologic survey of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in patients in Beijing between 2008 and 2017.

Authors of this article are:

Cui J, Yan W, Xie H, Xu S, Wang Q, Zhang W, Ni A.

A summary of the article is shown below:

BACKGROUND: Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) is an obligate intracellular bacterium and a human pathogen that causes respiratory infectious diseases. More than 50% of the adult population worldwide was once infected with C. pneumoniae, but investigations into this topic are insufficient in mainland China.METHODS: Anti-C. pneumoniae IgG and IgM antibodies were detected using micro-immunofluorescence test in serum samples of patients visiting Peking Union Medical College Hospital between 2008 and 2017 for routine medical purposes, and the aim of this retrospective study was to analyze the test results.RESULTS: Among 12,050 serum specimens tested for anti-C. pneumoniae IgG and IgM antibodies, the overall prevalence of anti-C. pneumoniae IgG antibodies was 86.6%, 87.2% for men and 86.0% for women. Adult men (>20 years) were found to have a significantly higher prevalence of anti-C. pneumoniae IgG than women (χ2 = 30.32, P = 0.000). 3 to 5 years old patients were observed to have the lowest prevalence of anti-C. pneumoniae IgG, 42.8%, then increased with age, reaching the highest level of 98.6% in patients over 70 years of age. In the 10,434 specimens with C. pneumoniae IgG antibodies, the total geometric mean titer (GMT) for C. pneumoniae IgG was 45.71. Although GMTs were found to be significantly higher among all men than among all women (t = 5.916, P = 0.000), sex difference actually began in patients over 40 years of age and increased in the elderly. In the total 12,050 specimens, 1.2% had anti-C. pneumoniae IgM, 3.3% had anti-C. pneumoniae IgG with titers equal to or greater than 1:512; 0.39% had ≥4-fold increasing titers of antibodies in acute and convalescent phase paired samples, and 4.4% were finally confirmed to have acute antibodies against C. pneumoniae. 6 to 10 years old patients were found to have the highest rate of both IgM antibodies (3.9%) and acute antibodies (6.2%) against C. pneumoniae. Acute antibodies against C. pneumoniae were found to be more frequent in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD, 14.0%, χ2 = 20.43, P = 0.000), patients with pneumonia (7.8%, χ2 = 51.87, P = 0.000) and patients with acute respiratory tract infection (12.3%, χ2 = 60.91, P = 0.000) than among all patients (4.4%). Both anti-C. pneumoniae IgG and IgM antibodies should be tested for acute antibodies against C. pneumoniae as testing for either alone will underestimate by a maximum of two-thirds the incidence of acute antibodies against C. pneumoniae.CONCLUSIONS: More than 86% of Chinese patients on an average were once infected with C. pneumoniae. Adult men had both a higher prevalence and higher levels of antibodies than women. 6 to10 year old patients were found to have the most frequent acute infection of C. pneumoniae. C. pneumoniae is associated with AECOPD, pneumonia and acute respiratory tract infection. Anti-C. pneumoniae IgG and IgM should be tested simultaneously to avoid underestimation of acute antibodies against C. pneumoniae.

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