Two family outbreaks of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection

F. Blasi, R. Cosentini, F. Denti, L. Allegra

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During autumn 1992, we observed two unrelated family outbreaks of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection. Family A consisted of grandmother (aged 77 yrs), father (aged 41 yrs), mother (aged 38 yrs), daughter (aged 10 yrs), and two sons (aged 6 yrs and 3 months, respectively). The grandmother and daughter suffered from pneumonia, father from pharyngitis and bronchitis and the older son from mild bronchitis. No symptoms were recorded in the mother and younger son. Symptomatic subjects showed a fourfold increase in immunoglobulin G (IgG) titre for Chlamydia pneumoniae, determined by a microimmunofluorescence test with specific antigen (TW-183). Other serological studies against Mycoplasma pneumonia, Legionella pneumophila, influenza virus type A and B, adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) were negative. Sputum culture gave a positive result for Haemophilus influenzae, colony forming units (cfu)=10 4 · ml -1 in the grandmother. No serum positivity was recorded in the mother and younger son, who remained asymptomatic. All symptomatic patients were successfully treated with macrolides. Family B consisted of mother (aged 63 yrs) and daughter (aged 36 yrs). Both suffered from Chlamydia pneumoniae pneumonia. Diagnosis was made by means of serological microimmunofluorescence test, and direct identification using an indirect immunofluorescence test on pharyngeal swab. Sputum culture and other serological tests remained negative. Both patients were successfully treated with macrolides. These observations emphasize the relevance of Chlamydia pneumoniae in family cluster respiratory infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-104
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Aetiology
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • respiratory infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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