Epidemiology of and factors associated with Chlamydia trachomatis in fertility treatment-seeking patients in the Abu Dhabi Emirate, United Arab Emirates

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Abstract

Background and Objectives: The burden of infection with C. trachomatis in fertility treatment-seeking patients in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is still unclear. This study measures the seroepidemiology of C. trachomatis and investigates factors associated with seropositivity to C. trachomatis in fertility treatment-seeking patients in Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE. Methods: A consecutive sample of fertility treatment-seeking patients completed a self-administered questionnaire and screened for C. trachomatis IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies. Prevalence of lifetime (IgG positive), current/acute (IgM positive), and ongoing progression of infection (IgA positive) infection with C. trachomatis was quantified. Independently associated factors with seropositivity to C. trachomatis were identified. Results: A total of 308 patients (mean age: 36.1 ± 6.8 SD, years) were surveyed. 87.7% of the patients were females, 93.4% married for?>1 year, and 68.1% were infertile for ≥6 months. Of the patients, 19.0%, 5.2%, and 1.6% were with lifetime exposure, acute infection, and ongoing progression of infection with C. trachomatis, respectively. Overall, 22.0% of the patients were exposed to C. trachomatis. Males compared to females (45.7% vs 18.9%, p<0.001) and current/ ex-smokers compared to non-smokers (44.4% vs 17.8%, p<0.001) carried higher seropositivity. Patients with a history of pregnancy loss also carried higher seropositivity compared to patients with no history of pregnancy loss (27.0% vs 16.8%, p<0.001), particularly recurrent pregnancy losses (33.3%). Independently, current smokers (ORa: 3.8, 95% CI: 1.32–11.04) and patients with a history of pregnancy loss (ORa: 3.0, 95% CI: 1.5–5.8) had significantly higher odds of infection with C. trachomatis. Conclusion: One in five and five in twenty fertility-treatment-seeking patients exhibited evidence of lifetime and current infection with C. trachomatis, respectively. This high prevalence of C. trachomatis in fertility treatment-seeking patients, particularly in patients with a history of pregnancy loss, possibly contributes to the growing burden of infertility in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118
Number of pages1
JournalPopulation Medicine
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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