Chlamydiae are organisms that have the characteristics of both bacteria and viruses. However, they are associated with bacteria and include three species, responsible for several infections: Chlamydia trachomatis the cause of sexually transmitted diseases, Chlamydia psittaci mainly affects the animal kingdom but can be transmitted to humans mainly via contact with birds, and Chlamydia pneumoniae responsible, as its name suggests, for respiratory infections. Typically, Chlamydia pneumoniae is responsible for a lung infection, a sort of atypical pneumonia.
The symptoms of a pulmonary infection by Chlamydia pneumoniae include:
- Fever, usually moderate between 38 and 39∞ C;
- sputum caused by cough;
- widespread pain, headaches, or muscle aches;
- stuffy or runny nose.
Given these clinical flu-like signs, pulmonary auscultation will determine if there is any impairment of the lung. In addition, a blood test will reveal high levels of leukocytes in the blood: the presence of white blood cells is necessary to suspect the presence of Chlamydia. A chest X-ray may also be carried out and show signs of infection. More rarely, laboratory tests performed on sputum can identify the bacteria involved.
In suspected cases of Chlamydia pneumoniae, antibiotics are associated with a paracetamol analgesic and antipyretic treatment.