AIMS: To evaluate the relation between Chlamydia trachomatis infection and stillbirth, placental tissue was studied for the presence of C trachomatis. METHODS: Paraffin wax embedded placental tissue of a stillbirth fetus, born at the 36th week of gestation to a 21 year old mother with high serum antibody titres to C trachomatis immunotypes during pregnancy and who was culture positive to C trachomatis three years previously, was studied by in situ hybridisation, polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry for the presence of C trachomatis. RESULTS: C trachomatis was detected in placental specimens by in situ hybridisation and alkaline phosphatase antialkaline phosphatase staining in several sections, whereas control tissues were uniformly negative, indicating the presence of C trachomatis nucleic acid and antigen in the placenta. CONCLUSION: This is the first reported case in which C trachomatis has been demonstrated in the human placenta.
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