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Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacterium responsible for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) called chlamydia. It is one of the most common STIs, two-thirds of new Chlamydia infections occur among young people aged 15-24 and estimates show that one in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 has chlamydia.
Chlamydia often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems. If symptoms do appear, they may not appear until several weeks after infection from sexual contact or sharing of sex toys.
It affects the mucous membranes of the body in both men and women: genital tract, throat (pharynx), anus and rectum. Chlamydia can also infect the eyes through contact with infected discharge.
Chlamydia, like other STIs, is passed from an infected person to a partner through certain sexual activities:
Note: Chlamydia cannot be transmitted through casual contact, such as kisses and hugs, or by sharing baths, towels, pools, toilet seats, or cutlery.
About 75% of women and 50% of men have no symptoms, and the symptoms of chlamydia resemble those of gonorrhea and the two infections are often confused. If a person has symptoms, they usually develop within 1-3 weeks of exposure to chlamydia.
Men and women can also get chlamydia in their rectum. This happens either by having receptive anal sex or by spreading from another infected site
Your doctor may use different tests to diagnose chlamydia. They will probably use a swab to take a sample, either from the urethra in men or from the cervix in women. C. trachomatis urethral infection can be diagnosed by testing first void urine.
There are two main methods to detect chlamydia in collected samples: NAATs (nucleic acid amplification tests) and cell cultures. NAATs are more sensitive than cultures and can diagnose more cases.
Note: The indications for serology are limited to upper genital infections (salpingitis, endometritis)
Long considered viruses, it was not until the 1960s that Chlamydia are recognized as bacteria. Chlamydia are eubacteria comprising four species, two pathogens for humans, C trachomatis and C pneumoniae, and two pathogens for animals, C psittaci (which may occasionally cause infections in humans) and C pecorum.
The culture is preferably carried out on vaginal agar (V agar) or HBT agar (Human Blood Tween) for 48 hours in anaerobic conditions.
Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotic treatment. Treatment of sexual partners can prevent reinfection and infection of other partners.