Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in acute exacerbations of COPD

F. Blasi, D. Legnani, V. M. Lombardo, G. G. Negretto, E. Magliano, R. Pozzoli, F. Chiodo, A. Fasoli, L. Allegra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chlamydia pneumoniae, strain TWAR, is a frequent causative agent of acute respiratory disease. We assessed the incidence and prevalence of Chlamydia pneumoniae infections in COPD. We studied, from January 1990 to May 1991, 142 out-patients with acute purulent exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 114 healthy control subjects. Oropharyngeal swab specimens were collected at each exacerbation and analysed using a high definition monoclonal indirect fluorescent antibody test for Chlamydia pneumoniae identification. Immunoglobulins G and M (IgG and IgM) fractions of antibodies to Chlamydia pneumoniae were studied by microimmunofluorescence test. Prevalence of specific IgG was 63% in COPD, and 46% in controls (Chi-squared test p = 0.007). Moreover, mean titre of IgG was significantly higher in COPD than in controls. Five patients were positive for specific IgM (≥ = 1:16), and one had a fourfold increase of IgG titre; four of these patients had been treated with ciprofloxacin 1 g · day-1 for 10 days, and two with erythromycin, 3 g · day-1 for 14 days, with remission of signs and symptoms of exacerbation. Chlamydia pneumoniae identification was always negative. Our data suggest that Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is a rather frequent event in COPD, since at least 4% of exacerbations may be associated with it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • exacerbations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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