Genotyping of Chlamydia trachomatis from Vaginal Swabs by Restriction Analysis of the Outer Membrane Protein Gene
Caitlin Ramnarain*, Nonkululeko Mabaso, Bongekile Ngobese and Nathlee Abbai
Corresponding Author: Caitlin Ramnarain, School of Clinical Medicine Laboratory, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Revised: November 28, 2023; Available Online: November 28, 2023
Citation: Ramnarain C, Mabaso N, Ngobese B & Abbai N. (2023) Genotyping of Chlamydia trachomatis from Vaginal Swabs by Restriction Analysis of the Outer Membrane Protein Gene. J Infect Dis Res, 6(S4): 03.
Copyrights: ©2023 Ramnarain C, Mabaso N, Ngobese B & Abbai N. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Background: Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) is a common cause of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The genetic characterization of C. trachomatis serovars reveals significant genetic diversity in this organism. This study investigated the diversity of C. trachomatis serovars in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected pregnant women in South Africa.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. For this study, 385 vaginal swab samples were tested for the presence of C. trachomatis. The swabs were collected from HIV-infected pregnant women at the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, South Africa. The vaginal swab samples collected from these women were analyzed for the presence of C. trachomatisMolecular genotyping of C. trachomatis positive samples was performed by an outer membrane protein (omp1) semi-nested polymerase chain reaction assay. The omp1 gene from C. trachomatis was amplified. The positive amplicons were digested with restriction enzymes AluI, DdeI and HinfI for the assignment of serovars and visualized after electrophoresis on a 2% agarose gel. All statistical analyses were conducted using RStudio, version 3.6.3.

Results: The prevalence of C. trachomatis in the study population was 12.2% (47/385). Serovar E (46.5%) was the most frequent serovar in our study population, followed by serovars F (20.9%), G (14.0%) and D (11.6%). Serovar I (4.7%), which was detected in two samples, was the least frequent. Risk factors for C. trachomatis include having a low level of education, being unemployed, being unmarried, not cohabitating, early age of first sex, high number of lifetime sex partners, a partner having other partners, lack of condom use, lacking symptoms of STIs, and lacking treatment for STIs.

Conclusion: Five different serovars were observed among the participants. The high genetic diversity observed in this study contributes to the challenges regarding future vaccine design and the development of antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests for Chlamydia.

Keywords: Chlamydia, Sexually transmitted infections, Pregnant women, Serovars, South Africa