Chlamydia infection is caused by the pathogenic bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, that causes infections of the urogenital tract, eyes and joints in adults, as well as infections in newborns.
Chlamydiae are gram-negative, immobile bacteria that are unable to synthesize ATP and, thus, exist as obligate intracellular parasites in eukaryotic cells. There are four known species of Chlamydia: C. trachomatis, C. psittaci, C. pecorum and C. pneumoniae (TWAR). C. psittaci and C. pecorum are primarily animal pathogens .
Today, C. trachomatis is regarded as the second most common causative agent of sexually transmitted diseases with about 89.1 million infections worldwide each year. About 3 million cases are registered each year in the United States. It is known that C. trachomatis can cause cervicitis, adnexitis, neonatal conjunctivitis, neonatal pneumonia, urethritis, epididymitis and proctitis. Moreover, C. trachomatis is the most frequent cause of nongonorrhoeal urethritis in men (ca. 25 – 55 % of the cases).
Untreated chlamydial infections in women can lead to serious consequences. As many of these infections are asymptomatic, many cases remain unrecognized and untreated. Chronic infection can lead to serious complications and inflammation in women, as well as inability to conceive and sterility. Newborn children of women infected with chlamydia have a high risk for conjunctivitis and pneumonia.
The symptoms of chlamydia infection can be mild or severe, but in some people they are completely absent. The presence of an asymptomatic infection leads to the transmission of the infection from one person to another before being diagnosed.
In men, the bacterium lives mainly in cells of the urethra (urinary tract), prostate, and seminal vesicles, causing urethritis, epididymitis, and prostatitis. Chlamydia infections in men are often asymptomatic, but there are studies that suggest they cause secondary infertility.
How to make an accurate diagnosis to prevent the spread of infection in a timely manner?
- Detection test for C. trachomatis by direct immunofluorescence- Highly specific and sensitive test in routine detection of chlamydia, done from genitourinary samples and conjunctival swab.
- Immunoassays for chlamydia antibodies detection for immune response to acute or past infection
- PCR test for detecting Chlamydia trachomatis – Molecular tests are highly specific and highly sensitive tests to detect the genetic material (DNA) of the microorganism itself, and the result is obtained in just 2 hours.
Avicena Laboratory offers a new molecular CE-IVD certified test, superior in its sensitivity and specificity. Please talk to your physician about your health concerns.