Chlamydia

March 2017


Definition


Chlamydia has the characteristics of both bacteria and viruses. Chlamydia is considered to be a type of bacteria and includes three species that are responsible for several infections: chlamydia trachomatis is the cause of sexually transmitted diseases manifested as urethritis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, but also conjunctivitis and sometimes lung infections in immunocompromised individuals; chlamydia pneumonia is responsible, as its name indicates, for respiratory infections; chlamydia psittaci mainly affects the animal kingdom, but can be transmitted to humans, especially via contact with birds.

Symptoms


Depending on the location of the Chlamydia infection, the symptoms may differ. In the case of a genital infection, symptoms are often moderate and include a clear discharge from the urethra and/or urinary discomfort. However, the risk in women is that the infection may transform into an infection of the fallopian tubes or pelvic inflammatory disease, which in the absence of treatment can lead to infertility. Chlamydia psittaci is responsible for psittacosis or ornithosis, often manifested as pneumonia. Lastly, the symptoms of chlamydia pneumoniae lung disease are fever and cough with a gradual onset of influenza-like symptoms such as muscle pain, joint pain and headaches.

Diagnosis


There are two methods used to detect genitor-urinary chlamydia: PCR and cell culture. PCR is done on a urine sample. The cell culture is in turn used to isolate and identify the strain. As for a pulmonary infection, a chest radiograph is performed and may reveal a network of infections not limited to the lungs.

Treatment


The doctor will consider a course of treatment that is appropriate to the nature of the chlamydia. The most effective treatment is generally a prescription of antibiotics of the cyclin family or macrolides. If the genitals are also affected by the infection, it is also necessary to treat sexual partners to avoid the risk of relapse or recurrence.

Prevention


Chlamydia being a sexually transmitted disease, it is necessary to adopt responsible yet simple gestures such as consistent condom use and a regular gynecological screening, even in the absence symptoms.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff.
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