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Chlamydia infection is caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis

Date:2011-12-16 click:

Chlamydia infection is caused by the pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis. It is a bacterium, even in some ways it's one that acts more like a virus, because it is dependent on molecules from its host organism to reproduce. Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of three bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia.

Chlamydia can not survive without humans, because it needs ATP, an energy molecule, to reproduce -- as well as other nutrients and supplies that it can't make it on its own. Basically, chlamydia treats the insides of human cells as great big grocery stores, and, since the bacteria can't live without groceries, C. trachomatis is as an obligate (can't survive without) intracellular (living inside cells) parasite (where it takes but does not give back).
Chlamydia travels between cells, and between people, in the form of an elementary body, which is a small, dense, spore-like, metabolically-inactive structure, almost like a virus, that doesn't do much of anything. It's infectious but inactive. When it enters a host cell, it changes into a reticulate body and uses supplies from the host cell to make copies of itself inside the cell. These reticulate bodies can grow, divide, and metabolize, but they're not infectious. Infections can persist in this manner for a while, or, once there are enough copies, the reticulate bodies can turn back into elementary bodies, burst the cell open, and escape to infect new cells or new people.
C. trachomatis can cause numerous disease states in both men and women including urethritis, proctitis (rectal disease and bleeding), trachoma, and infertility. It can cause prostatitis and epididymitis in men. In women, cervicitis,pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, and acute or chronic pelvic pain are frequent complications.
C. trachomatis is also an important neonatal pathogen, where it can lead to infections of the eye (trachoma) and pulmonary complications. Chlamydia trachomatis is the single most important infectious agent associated with blindness; approximately 600million worldwide suffer C. trachomatis eye infections and 20million are blinded as a result of the infection.

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