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ECDC Issues Chlamydia Control Guidance

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

In the coming summer months it is estimated that 200,000 young people in Europe will become infected with Chlamydia and most of them won't know that they are infected.

Chlamydia trachomatis, the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in Europe, continues to increase in many countries. The true occurrence of Chlamydia is most likely much higher than the official figures because the majority of the infected do not have clinical symptoms.

Surveys in European countries have shown an estimated population prevalence of 5 to 10 % in young people. ECDC's Guidance on Chlamydia control in Europe is based on a study of Chlamydia control activities in 29 European countries. This systematic survey found wide variation in the organisation of Chlamydia control.

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Almost half of the countries reported no organised activity, national control programmes were only identified in two countries. The ECDC guidance includes different options for Chlamydia control in a stepwise approach to ensure that prevention and patient management are in place before complex interventions such as screening are considered.

Primary prevention: health promotion and education, school programmes, condom distribution;

Case management: diagnostics, patient and partner management, routine case surveillance;

Opportunistic testing: testing routinely offered to specified group(s) of people attending clinical services;

Screening programme: organised provision of chlamydia testing to a substantial proportion of a defined population.