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Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis Infection among Female Undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt Using Strand Displacement and Amplification [SDA] Technique

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Background: Chlamydia trachomatis infection, being largely asymptomatic, is difficult to diagnose using the common diagnostic methods which have varying degrees of sensitivity and specificity. There is a paucity of data on the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in Nigeria. The aim of this research is to determine the prevalence of and predictive risk factors for Chlamydia trachomatis infection among female undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt. Methods: Four hundred undergraduate, non pregnant, asymptomatic female students below the age of 30 years were randomly selected and given questionnaires with self administrable vaginal swab sticks. The participants completed the questionnaires and provided vaginal swab samples which were analyzed using Strand Displacement and Amplification Technique. Results: Of the 400 sexually active participants, 44 tested positive [prevalence rate of 11%] for Chlamydia trachomatis. Some of the associated risks factors identified were, having multiple sexual partners especially in the last 90 days, irregular contraceptive usage and past history of sexually transmitted infections. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for a national policy on routine screening for Chlamydia trachomatis as treatment is cheap and effective, while the morbidity resulting from delayed diagnosis is more difficult to manage and associated with severe sequelae. Key Words: Prevalence; Chlamydia trachomatis; Strand Displacement and Amplification [SDA] Technique

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