Chlamydia – a silent, sеxualy transmitted bacteria

What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia are intracellular bacteria that cause genital (Chlamydia trachomatis), respiratory and eye infections (trachoma).
How common are genital infections caused by

Chlamydia trachomatis?
They are one of the most commonly detected sexually transmitted infections. It is most often detected in young people. Two-thirds of new chlamydia-related infections occur in people aged 15-24. It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 have chlamydia. (1-2)

How do people get chlamydia?
Chlamydia is transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person infected with chlamydia. Chlamydia can also be passed from mother to baby during childbirth.
Who is at risk for chlamydia?
Anyone who is sexually active can get chlamydia. It is a very common sexually transmitted disease, especially in young people.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
Chlamydia is known as a “silent” infection because most infected people are asymptomatic and have no abnormal examination results. However, due to the relatively slow cycle of bacterial replication, symptoms may appear only a few weeks after unprotected contact with an infected person.
In women, chlamydia most commonly causes cervicitis and endometritis by colonizing the cervix (mucous-purulent endocervical discharge, lightly induced endocervical bleeding), and urethritis. In men, chlamydia infection can lead to urethritis, with mucous or watery discharge from the urethra. Some men develop epididymitis with testicular pain, tenderness, and swelling.

What complications can result from an infection caused by chlamydia?
Chlamydia infection often goes unnoticed because a large percentage of people remain asymptomatic. However, if left untreated, chlamydial infections can lead to serious health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences.
In women, untreated chlamydia infection can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to fallopian tube obstruction, infertility, or risky pregnancy.
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia is associated with preterm delivery, as well as inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) and pneumonia in the newborn.

Who should be tested for chlamydia?
Anyone who is sexually active can become infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as:

  • discharge,
    -burning during urination,
    -unusual sores or rashes
    you should contact your doctor immediately!

Which laboratory tests detect chlamydia?
Several types of tests for Chlamydia Trachomatis are available at Avicena Laboratory:

  1. Test for detection of C. trachomatis by direct immunofluorescence
    High-specific and sensitive test in routine detection of chlamydia, which is done from genito-urinary samples and conjunctival swab.
  2. Serological tests for antibodies to C. trachmatis
    Serological tests for antibodies to chlamydia indicate the body’s immune response to acute or past infection.
  3. PCR molecular method of detection of C.trachmatis
    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.
    A new molecular test, CE-IVD certified and superior in its sensitivity and specificity, is available at Avicenna Laboratory.

Consult your doctor / gynecologist about your health condition.

1.O’Farrell N, Morison L, Moodley P, et al. Genital ulcers and concomitant complaints in men attending a sexually transmitted infections clinic: implications for sexually transmitted infections management. Sexually transmitted diseases 2008; 35: 545-9.

  1. White JA. Manifestations and management of lymphogranuloma venereum. Current opinion in infectious diseases 2009; 22: 57-66.
    The information and statistics in the text are taken from CDC – Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm#_ENREF_1