Chlamydia link to ectopic pregnancy explained

Chlamydia infection raises the risk of ectopic pregnancy by changing the expression of receptors involved in controlling the structure of the fallopian tube lining, research has shown.

A study published in The American Journal of Pathology found that Chlamydia trachomatis infection increases tubal expression of the receptor PROKR2.

Chlamydia infection has been shown to be associated with an increased rise of ectopic pregnancies. But researchers have so far been unable to explain why this occurs.

A team of researchers took fallopian tube biopsies from 38 women during hysterectomy for benign gynaecological conditions. From these they identified 14 women who had been exposed to C trachomatis. The remaining 24 women had no evidence of infection.

PROKR2 levels were significantly higher in the fallopian tube from women with evidence of past C trachomatis infection when compared to those without infection.

The study authors said that their findings were ‘not only important in the context of ectopic pregnancies but have wider implications in explaining the association between C trachomatis and pathologies such as pelvic inflammatory disease and ocular trachoma’.

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