Chlamydia trachomatis is a major causative agent of sexually transmitted disease (STD), which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs. The prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection was investigated among 200 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in three hospitals located within Kaduna metropolis, North-Central, Nigeria. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay technique was performed to detect chlamydia antibodies. The overall prevalence of C. trachomatis in the population studied was 9.5% (19/200). The highest percentage of prevalence rate, 6.5% (13/200), was seen in women belonging to the age group of 25 or less; this corresponds to women in their late teens and early twenties, and was also the most sexually active age group. Polygamy and low income status were also associated with higher infection rates. The commonest symptom recorded for the respondents that tested positive to Chlamydia infection was found to be vaginal irritation (27.8%), followed by vaginal discharge (25.9%); other symptoms observed were dysuria (14.8%) and lower back pain (9.3%). 18.5% of respondents had a past history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The distribution of women that tested positive for C. trachomatis antigen within the hospitals investigated showed that 11%, (11/100) were from Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial Hospital, with a similar number, 11.66% (7/60), from Kawo General Hospital, while Shehu Mohammed Kangiwa Medical Centre was seen to have only 2.5% (1/40) positive cases. C. trachomatis infection is largely underdiagnosed in the population, therefore specific preventive and intervention strategies for Chlamydia infection should be developed and targeted among the sexually active general population.
Key words: Chlamydia trachomatis, pregnant women, antenatal clinics, seroprevalence, ELISA.
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