Enhanced chlamydia surveillance indicates more screening needed

Megan L Counahan, Jane S Hocking and Christopher K Fairley
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05334.x
Published online: 19 May 2003

To the Editor: Chlamydial infection is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in Victoria and Australia, and notifications are increasing significantly. Most chlamydial infections are asymptomatic and, if untreated, lead to significant morbidity.1 The direct costs of these infections to the Australian healthcare system have been estimated at $90–$160 million annually.2 Chlamydial infection has been implicated in as many as 50% of cases of infertility.3 Widespread screening is cost effective and reduces both the prevalence of infection and the rate of complications.4 Screening is recommended in a number of countries and in the recently released Victorian Chlamydia Strategy.2


  • 1. Stamm WE. Chlamydia trachomatis infections of the adult. In: Holmes KK, Sparling PF, Mardh P-A, et al, editors. Sexually transmitted diseases. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999: 407-422.
  • 2. Public Health Division. Chlamydia strategy for Victoria (2001–2004). Melbourne: Department of Human Services, 2001.
  • 3. Boag F, Frank K. Screening for Chlamydia trachomatis. BMJ 1998; 316: 1474-1480.
  • 4. Scholes D, Stergaghis A, Heidrich FE, et al. Prevention of pelvic inflammatory disease by screening for cervical chlamydial infection. N Engl J Med 1996; 334: 1362-1366.
  • 5. Wilson J, Jungner G. The principles and practice of screening for disease. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1968.


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