Tampa, FL (April 29, 2010) -- Combination antibiotics effectively treat Chlamydia-induced reactive arthritis a major step toward management, and possibly cure, of this disease, a federal multicenter clinical trial led by the University of South Florida College of Medicine found.
The trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, is reported in the May 2010 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology. The paper is accompanied by an editorial in which an internationally-recognized research group from Germany calls the study results "impressive."
"Our findings lend hope that eradication of this persistent infection is attainable and a possible cure exists," said John D. Carter, MD, associate professor of medicine in the USF Health Division of Rheumatology and lead author of the study.
Reactive arthritis (ReA), also known as Reiter's syndrome, is an autoimmune disorder that develops in response to an infection elsewhere in the body. This type of arthritis is most commonly caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, usually acquired through sexual contact, or Chlamydia pneumoniae, which can trigger respiratory infection. The organism migrates from the initial site of infection typically the genitourinary or respiratory tract through the blood to the joint tissue. Pain and swelling in the sacroiliac joints, knees, ankles and feet are common.
Data suggests that the incidence of ReA rivals or even surpasses that of rheumatoid arthritis (an estimated 125,000 new cases a year), Dr. Carter said, but less is known about ReA, which is often misdiagnosed.
Most people recover fully from the initial flare-up of arthritis symptoms, but about 20 percent of those with ReA experience long-lasting symptoms. Studies have shown that the presence of metabolically-active Chlamydia in the joints of these individuals causes inflammation even years a
|Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier|
University of South Florida Health