A study carried out in Lleida by Oriol Yuguero, head of the Urgency and Emergency Multi-disciplinary Research Group at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Lleida (IRBLleida), professor at the University of Lleida (UdL) and doctor at the Emergency Department of the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital of Lleida (HUAV), has detected 7.4% of chlamydia-positive patients in the young asymptomatic population, which rises to 10% if couples are added. This means that out of every 100, there are 10 people who have the disease and do not know it. This is an important finding because these results will be used in discussions with the Department of Health to introduce screening in asymptomatic young people. This work has been done with 298 samples, of which 31 were positive, 22 were initially detected and 9 more as partners of those tested. The results of this study have been published in the journal 'Frontiers in Public Health'.
The researcher, accompanied by the president of the Diputació de Lleida, Joan Talarn, and the deputy of Public Health, Albert Bajona, presented the research on chlamydia infection in asymptomatic young people. This is a sexually transmitted disease that causes sterility and pelvic inflammatory disease and about which it is believed that there is a large asymptomatic population, and on which no research of this kind had been done. This research is part of the scientific research programme in the field of health that is being carried out in the Lleida area and which has the support of the Health area of the Lleida Provincial Council in collaboration with the IRBLleida and the University of Lleida and has been carried out on a population aged between 18 and 25 years, for one year, with a similar sample of men and women.
According to Yuguero, this study is important because chlamydia infection has increased exponentially in recent years (like most sexually transmitted diseases) and it is believed that there is a large asymptomatic population. The main problem is in young women, as chlamydia infection causes infertility and inflammatory pelvic disease. Once the health pandemic has been overcome, the aim is to screen young people outside the hospital with unused resources.
During his speech, Joan Talarn highlighted the work done by the team led by Yuguero, which was formed by José Manuel Fernández-Armenteros, from the Dermatology Section of the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital; Álvaro Vilela, doctor at the JEFE Once de Septiembre de Lleida; Jesús Aramburu, lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine of the UdL and member of the Microbiology Section of the Clinical Laboratory of the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital, and Pere Godoy, member of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia and the Biomedical Research Centre of Epidemiology and Public Health Network.
This project has been funded by the Diputació de Lleida since 2017. It is the first time in Catalonia that an infection programme has been carried out in asymptomatic healthy people.