How are chlamydial genitourinary infections (chlamydia) transmitted and what are specific risk factors for infection?

Updated: Sep 25, 2018
  • Author: Shahab Qureshi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print

Chlamydial transmission usually is caused by sexual contact through oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse. Neonatal infection (eg, conjunctivitis or pneumonia) may occur secondary to passage through the birth canal of an infected mother. Specific risk factors for chlamydial infection include the following:

  • Nonwhite race

  • Multiple sexual partners or a new sexual partner

  • Age 15-24 years (especially < 19 years)

  • Poor socioeconomic conditions (eg, homelessness)

  • Exchange of sex for drugs or money

  • Single marital status

  • Intercourse without a barrier contraceptive

  • History of a previous STD or current coinfection with another STD

  • Certain cytokine polymorphisms – These have been associated with severe disease and risk of tubal factor infertility [10]

  • Certain variants in Toll-like receptor 1 and 4 genes – These predispose to infection [11]

  • Having been a foster child (males only) [12]

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!