How accurate is presumptive Chlamydia trachomatis treatment? A 6-month clinical audit of a walk-in sexual health service

Jacups, Susan P., Potter, Caroline, Yarwood, Trent, Doyle-Adams, Simon, and Russell, Darren (2021) How accurate is presumptive Chlamydia trachomatis treatment? A 6-month clinical audit of a walk-in sexual health service. Sexual Health, 18 (5). pp. 413-420.

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Background: Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) is highly prevalent and is an important sexually transmitted infection as it can lead to increased risk of HIV seroconversion; and if left untreated, can cause infertility in women. Clinical guidelines recommend treating chlamydia presumptively when presenting symptomatically; however, clinicians are now questioning this due to increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistance.

Methods: To determine the accuracy of presumptive chlamydia treatment practices at a walk-in sexual health service in regional Australia, we audited all same-day screen and treat presentations prescribed azithromycin over a 6-month period in 2018.

Results: A total of 325 cases were included in the analysis. Over half (54%) the presentations returned negative pathology for all pathogens investigated. One quarter (25%) of presentations were positive for chlamydia, and (4%) reported a dual infection. A further one fifth (20%) were negative for chlamydia but positive for another pathogen. More symptomatic males than females returned positive pathology for chlamydia (8% vs 4%).

Conclusions: While presumptive treatment is recommended in the current guidelines, our findings indicate this resulted in over-treatment. Considering the increasing resistance patterns for Mycoplasma genitalium, which include azithromycin, presumptive treatments need to balance immediate client care needs against long-term community antimicrobial resistance outcomes. This internal audit provided a feedback mechanism to the walk-in sexual service, enabling modification of practices to provide more precise, individual clinical care within the bounds of current STI guidelines, while balancing wider the objectives of antimicrobial stewardship.

Item ID: 72093
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1449-8987
Keywords: adolescent, adult, chlamydia infections/epidemiology, microbial resistance, NAAT, PCR, reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases/*epidemiology, youth
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 08:08
Downloads: Total: 1
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