Diverse strains of Chlamydia found in Portswood

This was found in the SO17, 14, 15, 18 and 19 postcodes

The student predominant area of Portswood has been found to have more diverse strains of Chlamydia.

Scientists at the University of Southampton reviewed over 3,118 samples acquired from the main sexual health clinic in the city, and analysed strains in the DNA of 380 samples that tested positive for this STI.

They found a high number of diverse strains in the samples given from the Portswood area, and from the surrounding, SO17, 14, 15, 18 ad 19 postal codes.

Dr. Peter Marsh, who led the research team, says that being able to identify locations of different strains will help target educational programmes and reduce the number of infections.

Ian Clarke, Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Virology at the University of Southampton and co-investigator on the study, said: “These are really interesting results which could help change the way we target local populations to reduce the rates of sexually transmitted infections. The fact that the SO17 postcode of Southampton has a large proportion of people with diverse nationalities, cultures, and behaviours may account for the differences seen between this and all the other Southampton postcode-defined areas.”

Nearly 203,000 cases of Chlamydia were diagnosed in England last year. The majority of these were young people aged between 16 to 24.

The infection can be without symptoms and can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy. PHE recommends that all sexually active people, especially aged under 25, get screened for Chlamydia yearly and on change of sexual partner.

You can get this done at your local GP or sexual health, or GUM clinic or order a take home STI kit at www.letstalkaboutit.nhs.uk