Chlamydia trachomatis and chlamydia-like bacteria: new enemies of human pregnancies

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review provides an update on the roles of Chlamydia trachomatis and the related Waddlia chondrophila and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae in miscarriage, stillbirths and preterm labour in humans. A broad audience, including microbiologist, infectiologists, obstetricians and gynaecologists, should be aware of the potential threat of these Chlamydiales for human reproduction.

Recent findings

Despite increasing laboratory techniques and possibilities to perform diagnostic tests, the cause of miscarriage is only identified in 50% of the cases. Intracellular bacteria, such as C. trachomatis and Chlamydia-related bacteria, are difficult to detect in routine clinical samples and could represent possible agents of miscarriages. C. trachomatis is considered the world largest sexual transmitted bacterial agent and is associated with adverse pregnancy outcome in human. In the last decade Chlamydia-like organisms, such as W. chondrophila and P. acanthamoebae, have also been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in human and/or animals.

Summary

We review here the current evidences for a pathogenic role in humans, the diagnostic approaches and possible treatment options of C. trachomatis, W. chondrophila and P. acanthamoebae.

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