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The genus Chlamydia contains two species, C. tracho´matis and C. psit´taci. C. trachomatis can cause trachoma, inclusion conjunctivitis, lymphogranuloma venereum, nongonococcal urethritis, and a number of other genital infections. C. psittaci causes psittacosis.
The symptoms of sexually transmitted chlamydial infections may be mild; hence this is sometimes called “the silent STD.” Victims may not be aware they have the disease and may not seek treatment until serious complications and unwitting transmission to other persons have occurred. Males who have symptoms usually have painful urination and a watery discharge from the penis. Women may suffer itching and burning in the genital area, an odorless, thick, yellow-white vaginal discharge, dull abdominal pain, and bleeding between menstrual periods. C. trachomatis causes about half of all pelvic inflammatory disease. Symptoms can appear from a week to five weeks after exposure to the bacteria, during which time almost all sexual contacts become infected.
Chlamydial infection during pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth or premature birth. The newborn is at risk for infection from its mother and may suffer from inclusion conjunctivitis. Chlamydial infection can also lead to pneumonia some weeks after birth, probably because of infectious material from the eye draining through the nasolacrimal ducts and being aspirated into the lungs.
Chlamydial infection is usually treated with an antibiotic; effective single antibiotic therapy is available. It is essential that condoms be used during sexual intercourse throughout the treatment period to prevent reinfection, and condom use is usually recommended for 3 to 6 months after treatment. As with all sexually transmitted diseases, both partners should be treated at the same time to prevent reinfection. If left untreated, chlamydial infection can cause scarring in the fallopian tubes and lead to infertility and tubal pregnancies. In the male, nongonococcal urethritis due to chlamydiae may lead to epididymitis and sterility.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has drawn up guidelines that strongly recommend routine screening for Chlamydia infections for all sexually active women ages 25 and younger in order to insure detection. Printed copies of the Guidelines are available online through the National Guideline Clearinghouse at http://www.guideline.gov. They can also be obtained from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by calling 1-800-358-9295.
chla·myd·i·a, pl. chlamydiae (klă-mid'ē-ă, -ē)
Chlamydia,A genus of small, non-motile, GRAM NEGATIVE bacteria that occupy cells and were thus once thought to be viruses. They carry both DNA and RNA and multiply by binary fission. They can be destroyed by tetracycline antibiotics.
ChlamydiaGram-negative BACTERIA (see GRAM'S STAIN) that are OBLIGATE INTRACELLULAR PARASITES of man and other animals. They can only reproduce (see REPRODUCTION) within a host CELL. They are smaller than some of the largest VIRUSES. They are COCCOID, about 0.2–1.5 μm in size and can be transmitted by interpersonal contact or by respiratory routes. Chlamydia trachomatis causes trachoma, a common cause of blindness in humans.
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Patient discussion about Chlamydia
Q. How do I know if I'm infected by chlamydia?
Q. after takeing a 1g. dose of zithromax how long do u have to wait to have sex for clamydia i havent been diagnosed yet but to be on the safe side they gave me a 1g. z-pack just in case getting tested in two days but i wanted to see a girl this weekend and sleep with a girl should i wait