Chlamydial infections and Indigenous health

Joseph Debattista, Susan Hutton, Peter Timms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chlamydia are obligate, intracellular, bacterial pathogens that cause three main diseases in humans worldwide: sexually transmitted disease (infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease), trachoma and respiratory infections. Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) due to C. trachomatis are increasing (a 61% increase in notifications in Australia between 2003 and 2007) and the levels in Indigenous Australians continue to be unacceptably high: nearly five times higher than in non-Indigenous people. C. trachomatis also causes the ocular disease trachoma and, unfortunately, this condition continues to be common in Indigenous Australians, a situation that is unacceptable in a developed country. The other chlamydial species that infects humans is C. pneumoniae. While clinically less severe, the Australian Aboriginal population in the Top End have high rates of serologically diagnosed C. pneumoniae infection, which may contribute to the higher rates of respiratory disease observed in this group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-199
Number of pages3
JournalMicrobiology Australia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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