Cervicovaginal Levels of Human β-Defensin 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Reproductive-Aged Women With Chlamydia trachomatis Infection

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This study included women attending primary health care units in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil, to assess the cervicovaginal levels of human β-defensin (hBD) 1, 2, 3, and 4 during Chlamydia trachomatis infection.

Patients and Methods

Cervicovaginal samples were collected for Pap testing and assessing the presence of infection by C. trachomatis, human papillomavirus, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Vaginal smears were taken to evaluate local microbiota. Human β-defensin levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in cervicovaginal fluid samples. Seventy-four women with normal vaginal microbiota and no evidence of infection were included in hBD quantification assays; 37 tested positive for C. trachomatis and 37 were negative. Statistical analysis was performed using Mann-Whitney U test.


Women positive for C. trachomatis had significantly lower cervicovaginal hBD-1, hBD-2, and hBD-3 compared with those who tested negative (hBD-1: 0 pg/mL [0–2.1] vs 1.6 pg/mL [0–2.4], p < .0001; hBD-2: 0 pg/mL [0–3.9] vs 0.61 pg/mL [0–8.9], p = .0097; and hBD-3: 0 pg/mL [0–4.3] vs 0.28 pg/mL [0–8.4], p = .0076). Human β-defensin 4 was not detected.


Lower levels of hBD-1, hBD-2, and hBD-3 in cervicovaginal fluid were detected in the presence of C. trachomatis infection.

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