Bacteriological and serological aspects of Chlamydophila pneumoniae pharyngotonsillitis in adults

Abstract number: P948

Timpanaro R., Bisignano B., Stivala A., Garozzo A., Castro A., Tempera G.

Objective: Acute pharyngotonsillitis is one of the most common infections encountered by family physicians. Most patients with acute pharyngotonsillitis have symptoms that can be attributed to infection with a respiratory virus, such as adenovirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, rhinovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus. However, in approximately 30% to 40% of cases, acute pharyngotonsillitis is of bacterial aetiology. Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS) are responsible for most bacterial cases of acute pharyngotonsillitis, although other pathogens, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydophila pneumoniae, may be the causative agents in sporadic cases.

To assess whether C. pneumoniae plays a role in pharyngotonsillitis, the prevalence of C. pneumoniae detection in adult patients with upper respiratory illnesses was investigated.

Methods: Clinical samples from 98 adult patients were sent to our laboratory from family physicians between January 2006 and March 2007. All clinical and serum samples were collected from patients who were diagnosed with pharyngotonsillitis based on clinical symptoms. During the same period, we enrolled 75 healthy subjects without any history of respiratory tract infections in the 3 months before enrolment. The nasopharyngeal swabs were evaluated for isolation of C. pneumoniae in cell culture, all specimens were passaged three-times. The presence of chlamydial inclusions was examined by Immunofluorescent (IFA) staining and Giemsa staining.

A commercial microimmunofluorescence (MIF) test was used to measure C. pneumoniae-specific IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies (Labsystems, Helsinki, Finland distributed by Dasit, Italy).

Results:C. pneumoniae was detected by isolation in ten patients (10.2 per cent) but in none of the control. Immunofluorescent (IFA) staining and Giemsa staining of 98 pairs of matched swabs detected C. pneumoniae in three by both methods, in four by Giemsa staining alone, and in three by IFA alone.

Twenty-four (24.5 per cent) of 98 patients had a positive result for C. pneumoniae IgG antibodies and nine (9.2 per cent) for C. pneumoniae IgA antibodies. No patient had a C. pneumoniae IgM antibodies.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the therapeutical choice of acute pharyngotonsillitis in adults should take into account the possibility of C. pneumoniae infections.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
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