Incidence and persistence of carcinogenic genital human papillomavirus infections in young women with or without Chlamydia trachomatis co-infection

Medical Microbiological Laboratories and the CSI Group

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


We assessed whether infection with chlamydia increases the incidence of carcinogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and if HPV persistence is affected by chlamydia co-infection. For 1982 women (16-29 years-old) participating in two consecutive rounds of a chlamydia screening implementation trial, swabs were polymerase chain reaction tested to detect chlamydia and 14 carcinogenic HPV genotypes. HPV type-specific incidence and persistence rates were stratified for chlamydia positivity at follow-up. Associations were assessed by multilevel logistic regression analyses with correction for sexual risk factors. HPV type-specific incidence ranged from 1.4% to 8.9% and persistence from 22.7% to 59.4% after a median follow-up of 11 months (interquartile range: 11-12). Differences in 1-year HPV persistence rates between chlamydia -infected and noninfected women were less distinct than differences in HPV incidence rates (pooled adjusted odds ratios of 1.17 [95% CI: 0.69-1.96] and 1.84 [95% CI: 1.36-2.47], respectively). The effect of chlamydia co-infection on HPV-infection risk did not significantly differ by HPV genotype. In conclusion, infection with chlamydia increases the risk of infection by carcinogenic HPV types and may enhance persistence of some HPV types. Although these findings could reflect residual confounding through unobserved risk factors, our results do give reason to explore more fully the association between chlamydia and HPV type-specific acquisition and persistence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1589-1598
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alphapapillomavirus/genetics
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Chlamydia Infections/epidemiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis/isolation & purification
  • Coinfection/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections/complications
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Young Adult


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