Intraamniotic detection of Chlamydia trachomatis deoxyribonucleic acid sequences by polymerase chain reaction
Chlamydia trachomatis is a microorganism that is more similar to bacteria than viruses and can cause various diseases, including serious infections in the newborn and genital infections, which may result in infertility in men and women. C. trachomatis infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease in many countries, and may occur without symptoms. A suitable method of detecting this microorganism is essential for diagnosis and treatment. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a genetic method in which a portion of DNA, the genetic material of the cell, is copied several times to provide quantities sufficient for more extensive analysis. This method is used to detect viruses, based on the presence of viral genetic material in a host cell or body fluid, and has been used to identify human cytomegalovirus, human papillomavirus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The presence of C. trachomatis was assessed in the cervicovaginal cells (obtained from vaginal tissue and the cervix) and in amniotic fluid (which surrounds the fetus). PCR and culturing, or attempts to grow the microorganism, were used to test for C. trachomatis in 31 pregnant women. Chlamydial DNA was detected in 9 cervicovaginal specimens, including 5 specimens that had positive cultures. DNA was also detected in amniotic fluid (intraamniotic) specimens from two of the nine women with C. trachomatis DNA in cervicovaginal cells. The women who tested negative for C. trachomatis in cervicovaginal cells also tested negative for C. trachomatis DNA in amniotic fluid. These findings illustrate the significance and frequency of C. trachomatis infection of amniotic fluid in women with Chlamydial infection of the genitals. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Diagnosis of neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis
The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis can cause ophthalmia neonatorum in infants when the mother's genital tract is infected. This infection results in conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva in the eye) in the newborn, and if left untreated in the mother can result in pelvic inflammatory disease and possible infertility. Simple laboratory techniques are valuable in making the diagnosis when diagnostic facilities are unavailable. Fifty-seven babies with acute conjunctivitis were evaluated using three different diagnostic techniques: conjunctival smears examined by microscopy, bacterial culture, and immunofluorescence. Chlamydial infection was present in 17 of the 57 babies studied, or 30 percent. This figure corresponds to the incidence previously reported. Immunofluorescence is inferior to cell culture and there were eight cases that were falsely positive using this technique, in which bacteria were not ultimately detected. The presence of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (a type of white blood cells) and the absence of bacteria in conjunctival specimens cannot be used to predict the presence of chlamydial infection. Furthermore, the positive and negative predictive values of microscopy and culture were too low to be accepted as an adequate technique to detect the bacteria. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Archives of Disease in Childhood
Is it worthwhile breast-feeding?
Breast-feeding was evaluated on the basis of its nutritional and immunological aspects. It was shown that breast-feeding during the first 13 weeks of life gives protection against gastrointestinal illness and respiratorydisease. Breast-feeding was also highly recommended in a family with a strong history of allergy however there are not enough studies to demonstrate the advantages of breast-feeding in terms of growth and development.
Publication Name: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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