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MarRissa Nelson

Biology 1615
Article summary
Every year in the United States alone about one million people who are sexually active
pick up a sexually transmitted disease called Chlamydia trachomatis. Not only is it very common
in the United States but worldwide it is one of the most common strands of sexually transmitted
bacterial organisms. The majority of those who have this bacterium do not even know they have
it. Therefore many carriers do not receive any medical attention to get rid of the bacteria which
in turn causes it to spread more and more. Researchers wanted to determine if the sexually
transmitted bacteria known as Chlamydian trachomatis was affecting woman and their ability to
conceive or if the illness had nothing to do with the high infertility rates.
If there was indeed a connection traced than more could be done to prevent future
infertility cases. More could also be done to educate sexually active woman of the dangers that
are associated with sexually transmitted diseases and that it could infact affect their own ability
to conceive.
Materials and Methods:
First the researchers selected 439 women from a local OBGYN hospital in Ghana. These
women were required to give their consent to be participants in the research. Of the 439 woman
191 of them had undefined infertility problems with a minimum of at least 1 year of attempting
to conceive without any success. The remaining 248 woman were pregnant woman in the first
two trimesters of pregnancy and who have had no major issues associated to the pregnancy.

Information was gathered to determine each examinees health history, demographic

information, and any other information that may be important in the findings. Each woman was
then required to give a blood sample and a urine sample to be tested for Chlamydian
The researchers used several different tests so that if one did not detect the bacteria
accurately it would not weigh the results of the other all discoveries. They also tested not only
infertile woman but also woman who had no problems conceiving to see if the bacteria was
higher in the number of infertile woman or if the bacteria was common amongst both pregnant
and infertile woman.

The researchers found that the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test showed that among
the 439 women tested for Chlamydian trachomatis there was a total of 9 (3%) woman that
positive bacterial strands were detected. Among the healthy pregnant women there were 6 that
had positive test results (2.1%). This was indeed higher results than the infertile woman which
only had a total of 3 (1.6%) with positive results. The difference being only a mere .5% increase
among the already pregnant woman. The other two tests however showed different results. As
stated in the article serum samples were tested for igG and IgA antibodies specific to C.
trachomatis by using a commercially available peptide-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent
assay. These two tests are where the researchers found just what they were looking for. The IgG
test which showed the amount of healthy pregnant woman with the bacteria showed a total of
19.4% and the IgA test also for the healthy pregnant woman showed 3.6%. For those suffering

with infertility the results were significantly higher. The IgG test showed that a total of 39.3% of
the infertile woman had the Chlamydian trachomatis bacteria and the IgA test showed 14.1%
tested positive. Was anything surprising to the scientists or unexpected in the study?
It was surprising
They were trying to discover what was causing such high infertility rates. With the numbers
collected the researchers could clearly see that the increase in numbers between those who were
able to conceive without problems and those who were struggling to conceive. At that point it
was easy to tell that the bacterium was affected the ability to conceive.
Some of the difficulties that they ran into were that they couldnt just find any woman to
participate in the study. They had to select those who had no problems conceiving and then many
who were experiencing difficulty conceiving. Any individual with short term STD infections or
who had experienced pelvic inflammatory disease were also not considered to participate in the
study. They did this in order to receive the most accurate results possible.

Siemer, Jorn. "Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection as a Risk Factor for Intertility among Woman in
Ghana, West Africa." The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
Feb. 2008. Web. Sept. 2014.