, Volume 288, Issue 3, pp 627-633
Date: 15 Mar 2013

Is Chlamydia trachomatis related to human papillomavirus infection in young women of southern European population? A self-sampling study

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Abstract

Background

It is well established the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical cancer (CC) etiology. Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection seems to synergize with HPV in CC multistage process. The aim of this study was to assess the correlation of HPV and CT infection in young student women.

Material and methods

Cervicovaginal samples were obtained by self-sampling method from young women (n = 432; mean age 18.0 ± 2.46 years) recruited among the student community and tested for HPV and CT DNA by polymerase chain reaction.

Results

In CT positive cases, there is an increased risk of HPV detection [odds ratio (OR) 2.4, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.03–6.27, p < 0.037]. The highest rate of coinfection with HPV and CT were observed in the mean age of 20.6 years, and all coinfection cases were found in young women who referred no previous history or symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. Within HPV-positive young women, there was no significant difference between CT and high-risk HPV.

Conclusions

Our results suggest a causal association between HPV and CT infection in young women; infection with this bacterium may be a predisposing factor for subsequent infection with HPV, or vice versa, due to similar mode of sexual transmission, inferring the promising role of CT in CC development. However, the specific question on multistage process of HPV-associated carcinogenesis, which may be affected by CT, remains unclear.