European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 172, Issue 5, pp 581–590 | Cite as

Beyond “safe sex”—can we fight adolescent pelvic inflammatory disease?

  • Bahaa Abu Raya
  • Ellen Bamberger
  • Nogah C. Kerem
  • Aharon Kessel
  • Isaac Srugo


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a common disorder affecting sexually active adolescents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and European CDC report Chlamydia trachomatis as the most common sexually transmitted infection and one of the main etiological agents causing PID. C. trachomatis' and PID's high prevalence may be attributed to multiple factors including high-risk sexual behaviors, sensitive laboratory diagnostics (polymerase chain reaction), and the introduction of chlamydia screening programs. The pathogenesis of C. trachomatis infection is complex with recent data highlighting the role of toll-like receptor 2 and four in the mediation of the inflammatory cascade. The authors review the etiology of the disease, explore its pathogenesis, and discuss a variety of strategies that may be implemented to reduce the prevalence of C. trachomatis including: (a) behavioral risk reduction, (b) effective screening of asymptomatic females, (c) targeted male screening, (d) implementation of a sensitive, rapid, self-administered point-of-care testing, and (e) development of an effective vaccine.


Pelvic inflammatory disease Chlamydia trachomatis vaccine Toll-like receptors Point-of-care diagnostic tool 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest or funding to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahaa Abu Raya
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Ellen Bamberger
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
  • Nogah C. Kerem
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
  • Aharon Kessel
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Isaac Srugo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsBnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Clinical Microbiology LaboratoryBnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Adolescents Medicine UnitBnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  4. 4.Division of Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyBnai Zion Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  5. 5.The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion—Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  6. 6.Technion—Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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