Chlamydia - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

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Chlamydia - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment
Chlamydia - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Video: Chlamydia - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

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Video: Chlamydia Infection Symptoms and Treatment (Antibiotic) 2023, February
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Each person imagines what chlamydia is. As you know, these bacteria cause a dangerous sexually transmitted disease - chlamydia. Most often, chlamydia is sexually transmitted, the symptoms of their manifestation cause great discomfort to men and women. Chlamydia can be contracted from both humans and animals. The most dangerous are such types of chlamydia as Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia pecorum, which enter the human body through contact with sick animals and birds, and Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae, their infection occurs from a sick person.

Chlamydiae are stable in the external environment for 36-48 hours, they die when boiling for 1 minute and after treatment with antiseptics (alcohol, high concentrations of chlorine solutions, solutions of hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate).

The main treatment for chlamydia is antibiotics. The drugs should be used as prescribed by a doctor; self-medication in the presence of chlamydia in the body is unacceptable.

The content of the article:

  • 1 What is chlamydia
  • 2 Development of classifications of chlamydia
  • 3 Types of chlamydial infections
  • 4 Ways of transmission of chlamydia
  • 5 Symptoms of chlamydia
  • 6 Tests for chlamydia
  • 7 How to donate biomaterial for the detection of chlamydia
  • 8 Chlamydia treatment

What is chlamydia

Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) is a group of intracellular microorganisms related to sexually transmitted bacteria and causing an inflammatory disease - chlamydia.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

Chlamydiae are round, protected by the cell membrane, contain two types of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). To carry out the life cycle, chlamydia requires the presence of cells of the human body - the cylindrical epithelium, which is lined with the urogenital tract.

Under unfavorable environmental conditions, they can form L-forms, superstable living structures that do not reproduce and persist for a long time. After the external unfavorable factors disappear, chlamydia begins to show activity and cause a new attack of inflammation.

Chlamydia is an intracellular bacterium - a parasite. Independently in the external environment, its life span is calculated in minutes. It contains a biological capsule and genetic material. When damaged, it appears inside the host cell and begins to parasitism.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

Using the building material and energy of the host cell, chlamydia actively multiplies within the host cell. After the end of the reproduction cycle of chlamydia, the infected cell dies, and many daughter chlamydia are released into the intercellular space, which continue to infect all new cells. Diseases caused by chlamydia are called chlamydia or chlamydial infections.

In the external environment, chlamydia can maintain its viability for a long time, chlorine-containing disinfectants destroy chlamydia within a few hours. Infection occurs through sexual contact, during vaginal and anal sex. In our opinion, infection during oral sex is not excluded.

Domestic infection is unlikely. The incubation period can be different, on average from 6-7 days to 3 weeks. The full life cycle of chlamydia lasts about 3 days. In the extracellular space, the so-called elementary chlamydial bodies are formed.

This form has all the features of bacteria, has its own metabolism, has the ability to transfer from person to person, retains all virulent properties. Chlamydia requires a host cell to divide and reproduce.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

Having penetrated into the cells of the columnar epithelium, chlamydiae are transformed into the reticular body. Each cell can contain a huge variety of reticular bodies.

They use the energy resources of the host cell. The processes of division of chlamydia also take place there. Inside the cell, chlamydia is located in a structure called a phagosome. Such forms of chlamydia are used to protect the cell membrane itself and are difficult to respond to antibiotics. The reticular body cannot be contagious. It dies outside the host cell.

Chlamydia can be contracted from both humans and animals. The most dangerous are such types of chlamydia as Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia pecorum, which enter the human body through contact with sick animals and birds, and Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae, their infection occurs from a sick person.

Chlamydiae are stable in the external environment for 36-48 hours, they die when boiling for 1 minute and after treatment with antiseptics (alcohol, high concentrations of chlorine solutions, solutions of hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate).

Thus, chlamydia is a typical parasite that uses the host's cellular material to reproduce.

Development of classifications of chlamydia

The taxonomy and nomenclature of chlamydia have long been inaccurate and largely contradictory. In the early stages of research, the vagueness of the classification arose at the level of defining the group to which it was necessary to assign a given microorganism - a virus or a bacterium. Until the 60s, it was believed that chlamydia belonged to viruses due to their small size and inability to support growth on artificial nutrient media.

In 1966 L. Page, who intensively studied the morphology, cytology, chemical structure and metabolism of chlamydiae, expressed the opinion that they should be classified as bacteria.

The first researchers of trachoma L. Halbersta and S. Prowazek (1907) proposed for the name of the family the term Chlamydozoa (from the Greek chlamys - mantle) to designate the matrix around the elementary bodies observed during Giemsa staining. Later, in 1934, Bedson Meyer established similarities in the life cycles of the pathogens of trachoma and psittacosis.

Thus, a new species appeared in the family, which was originally named Bedsonia (1953), and was later renamed Chlamydia psittaci. In 1945, Jones, Rake and Stearns, emphasizing the differences between Chlamydia and Rickettsia, proposed a taxonomically justified genus name - Chlamydia.

Between 1957 (VII ed. Bergey Handbook of Microorganisms) and 1975. (VIII ed. Of the Bergey Handbook of Microorganisms) the discussion was about the number of genera in the family Chlamydiaceae. In 1968 L. Page proposed to distinguish between two species in the same genus, namely C.trachomatis and C.psittaci.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

According to the phenotypic traits underlying the classification division, the Chlamydia trachomatis strains differed in their ability to accumulate glycogen, which is clearly visible in inclusions when stained with iodine, as well as in sensitivity to sulfadiazine.

Thus, until the mid-1980s, all bacteria with the chemical characteristics, morphology, and developmental cycle typical of chlamydia were either C. trachomatis or C. psittaci. At the same time, individual strains of chlamydia isolated before 1980 could not be attributed to these two species on the basis of the classification characteristics used.

Somewhat later, thanks to the development of DNA taxonomy, it became possible to use new approaches, in particular, DNA-DNA hybridization technology, for the analysis of newly isolated chlamydiae and strains placed in the ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) collection until 1971.

The data obtained as a result of these studies, in parallel with the results of serological and micromorphological observations, made it possible to identify new species - Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia pecorum.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

Recently, the data obtained in the study of the genome of chlamydia using restriction methods and molecular hybridization have been significantly supplemented by the results of phylogenetic analysis of the primary structure of 16S and 23S rRNA genes of various representatives of the order Chlamydiales. These genosystematics served as the basis for changing the nomenclature and taxonomy of chlamydia and related microorganisms, described relatively recently.

Based on the pronounced homology of rRNA genes, previously unclassified microorganisms, characterized by a developmental cycle similar to chlamydia, were divided into three additional families: Parachlamydiaceae, Simkaniaceae, and Waddliaceae in the order Chlamydiales.

Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal genes also made it possible to distinguish 9 separate groups at the species level in the Chlamydiaceae family. The presence of 9 species in the family is confirmed by data on the difference in their cultural, biochemical, and antigenic properties, the ability to cause specific diseases in a host circle strictly defined for each species, as well as data on hybridization and restriction analysis of the genome.

The complication of the modern classification of chlamydia is probably an inevitable consequence of the accumulation of knowledge about new representatives of this group of microorganisms, as well as the improvement of diagnostic methods and research of various bacterial pathogens in general.

However, it should be noted that the opinion about the need to reclassify the Chlamydiaceae family and isolate a separate genus Chlamydophila in its composition did not initially find unambiguous approval among chlamydiologists.

According to RS Stephens, “The introduction of a new taxonomy and nomenclature for chlamydia is a public health concern. The name Chlamydiae has not served the education necessary to effectively control the spread of Chlamydia infection, as it is in itself difficult to grasp.

Types of chlamydial infections

Depending on which organ is affected by chlamydia, there are several types of chlamydia.

Chlamydia psittaci causes psittacosis and chlamydial conjunctivitis. Chlamydia trachomatis in newborns causes: chlamydial conjunctivitis, nasopharyngitis, otitis media.

In adults: urogenital chlamydia (urethritis, cystitis, prostatitis, cervicitis, endometritis, adnexitis); proctitis; cholecystitis.

Also, some types of Chlamydia trachomatis cause trachoma and lymphogranulomatosis venereal disease. Chlamydia pneumoniae infects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems with the development of pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, endocarditis and other diseases. Chlamydial infection can be acute, chronic and asymptomatic.

Depending on which organ is affected by chlamydia, there are several types of chlamydia.

Chlamydia psittaci causes psittacosis and chlamydial conjunctivitis.

Chlamydia trachomatis in newborns causes

  • chlamydial conjunctivitis,
  • nasopharyngitis,
  • otitis

in adults

  • urogenital chlamydia (urethritis, cystitis, prostatitis, cervicitis, endometritis, adnexitis),
  • proctitis,
  • cholecystitis.

Also, some types of Chlamydia trachomatis cause trachoma and lymphogranulomatosis venereal disease. Chlamydia pneumoniae infects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems with the development of pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, endocarditis and other diseases. Chlamydial infection can be acute, chronic and asymptomatic.

Chlamydia transmission routes

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

Chlamydia in women is sexually transmitted. Chlamydiae are transmitted through genital and anal intercourse. The ability of chlamydia to attach to sperm (contaminate the sperm) and thus disseminate (spread) makes it possible for chlamydia to quickly transmit all parts of the reproductive system.

Transmission of chlamydia (infection with chlamydia in women) with a single unprotected condom, suppositories (suppositories), cream, sexual intercourse is 22-96%. This explains the possibility of infection (infection) with chlamydia.

  • chlamydia is transmitted through oral-genital sex;
  • Chlamydia is not spread by mouth-to-mouth kissing and the absence of sperm on the lips and mouth. When kissing the skin (cheeks, forehead, body, hands, etc.), chlamydia is not transmitted;
  • the risk of transmission of chlamydia transplacentally through the placenta during gestation) and intrapartum (during the passage of the fetus) from an infected mother with the subsequent development of conjunctivitis (eye disease) in a newborn is 20-50%, pneumonia (pneumonia) - 10-20%;
  • The respiratory (respiratory) tract can also serve as a focus of chlamydia in women, while the path of transmission of chlamydia is not associated with sexual intercourse;
  • contact and household transmission of chlamydia through a handshake, after contact of contaminated hands with eyes, genitals, through household items, dishes, cutlery, a shared bath, a towel, when petting, etc. seems likely;
  • the preservation of the infectivity of chlamydia in humid conditions at a temperature of 18-19 ° C for 48 hours is considered proven;
  • possible transmission of chlamydia (Chlamydia psittaci) FROM wild and domestic birds;
  • transmission of chlamydia from wild and domestic animals (cat, dog, hamster, etc.) is impossible;
  • the risk of contracting chlamydia in women (susceptibility to chlamydia) with a single unprotected intercourse approaches 100%.

Chlamydia symptoms

The incubation period for chlamydia is 7-21 days. The infection, as a rule, has nonspecific symptoms of the disease, therefore, in the acute form, it is rarely diagnosed and in 90% of cases becomes chronic.

Urogenital chlamydia: most often, urogenital chlamydia develops in the form of urethritis and cervicitis. Patients complain of frequent and painful urination, vitreous discharge from the urethra and / or genital tract, the appearance (rarely) of a drop of blood when urinating. With ascending chlamydial infection in men, the seminal vesicles (vesiculitis), the prostate (prostatitis), the membranes and the testicles themselves (epidymitis and orchitis) are affected, and in women the uterus (endometritis) and appendages (adnexitis), which have characteristic manifestations of all the listed diseases

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia
  • psittacosis: infection occurs from sick birds and animals. The main symptoms of the disease are: an increase in body temperature up to 39 ° C; general intoxication (weakness, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting); lung damage with the development of pneumonia, brain damage with the development of meningitis; spleno- and hepatomegaly (enlargement of the spleen and liver);
  • chlamydia of the bronchopulmonary system: as a rule, pulmonary chlamydia proceeds as acute obstructive bronchitis and bronchial asthma. Patients are worried about dry, unproductive cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, periodic attacks of suffocation;
  • trachoma: chlamydial infection of the conjunctiva and cornea of ​​the eye with subsequent scarring of the mucous membrane, eyelid cartilage and the development of blindness;
  • lymphogranulomatosis venereal disease: caused by chlamydia, affecting the soft tissues of the urogenital region and inguinal lymph nodes. In the final stage of the disease, ulcers form on the skin of the perineum and on the mucous membranes of the genital organs, which later become sclerosed and scarred;
  • Reiter's syndrome: the conjunctiva of the eyes, joints and urogenital organs are sequentially or simultaneously affected. Symptoms of the disease are characteristic of conjunctivitis, arthritis and urethritis.

It becomes clear that chlamydia causes chlamydia. But there are also a number of predisposing factors for infection with these microorganisms:

Urogenital chlamydia:

  • promiscuous sex;
  • wearing an intrauterine device;
  • non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene.

Other factors:

  • close contact with animals and birds;
  • non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
  • factors contributing to the weakening of immunity (taking antibiotics, hypovitaminosis, hypothermia, stress, etc.).

Ways of transmission of chlamydial infection: sexual, contact-household, intrauterine and intrapartum (in childbirth when the child passes through the infected birth canal of the mother).

Chlamydia tests

An infectious disease caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis is known in medicine as chlamydia. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Note that Chlamidia trachomatis has some properties inherent in viruses, so chlamydia is sometimes difficult to diagnose and treat.

When chlamydia enters the human body, they begin to actively multiply in the mucous membrane and after 10 hours are introduced into the cells and destroy them. In a woman's body, bacteria first attack the cells of the uterus, then the tubes and ovaries. If you do not start treatment on time, the disease will "spread" to the abdominal organs.

In men, chlamydia primarily affects the genitourinary system - first the urethra and ureters, then the prostate gland, seminal vesicles. Further, the scenario of the development of the disease is the same as in women.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

You should know that chlamydia is transmitted not only sexually, but also through the external environment, but this method of infection is extremely rare. But a child who has passed through the infected birth canal of the mother falls ill in more than half of the cases, and the risk of intrauterine infection is also high. Therefore, when planning a pregnancy, the doctor must prescribe an analysis for chlamydia.

Chlamydiae can move through the lymphatic and blood vessels. This explains the infection of the joints, pharynx and other organs located at a distance from the reproductive system and the abdominal cavity.

Most often, at the first stage, chlamydia is asymptomatic. Only years later (the latency period can last up to several years) do the first signs of infection appear - a slight increase in temperature, intoxication or weakness. After ten days, these symptoms may disappear and then appear rarely and in a mild form.

It so happens that chlamydia makes itself felt in the same way as many other STDs: unpleasant or even painful sensations when urinating, itching of the genitals. The so-called vitreous discharge is possible (in women). If chlamydia is not detected and treated, it will cause other diseases of the genitourinary system, which can be easily diagnosed by pronounced symptoms: atypical discharge, sharp pain during urination, constant pain in the genital area, itching and burning.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

If a person has discovered any of the above symptoms, it is necessary to be tested for chlamydia. There are several types of analyzes that differ in cost and accuracy. Chlamydia can be diagnosed using blood, urine, saliva, conjunctival fluid, a smear or scraping from the vagina and cervix in women, or scraping from the urethra and ejaculate in men. Biomaterial can be examined by various methods.

How to donate biomaterial for the detection of chlamydia

If you donate blood (from a vein) for analysis, then it is important to do this on an empty stomach, otherwise the result may be distorted. For greater accuracy, it is worth limiting the consumption of fatty and fried foods two days before the test, it is better to exclude alcohol altogether. It is also best not to smoke on the day of analysis. When passing urine, it is required to give up sexual intercourse.

It is better to collect the first morning urine (a couple of seconds after you start urinating). If it is planned to take a smear or scraping for analysis, then two days before the procedure, you must refrain from sexual intercourse. Two hours before the analysis, doctors recommend not going to the toilet.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

It is better for women to take biomaterial on the very first day after the end of menstruation. In women, a swab or scraping is taken from the cervix, vagina and urethra, in men - from the urethra. Sometimes semen can be taken for analysis.

Rarely, to determine chlamydia, doctors prescribe an analysis of synovial fluid - a material in the joint cavity secreted by the synovial membrane. To take this sample, a puncture of the elbow, knee or other joints is done. The only preparation measure is the sterility of the joint.

Chlamydia treatment

The main treatment for chlamydia is the prescription of antibiotics.

Antibiotics are used: macrolide groups (azithromycin, clarithromycin, rovamycin); tetracycline series (doxycycline, tetracycline); fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin).

The course of antibiotic treatment lasts 10-21 days, depending on whether it is a chronic or acute process, as well as on the degree of the disease.

Along with antibiotics are prescribed: multivitamins; immunomodulatory drugs (taktivin, thymalin); enzymes (festal, carsil); antifungal agents (nystatin, fluconazole); probiotics (lactobacterin, bifidumbacterin orally and in vaginal tampons) for the prevention of intestinal and vaginal dysbiosis.

What is chlamydia
What is chlamydia

During antibiotic therapy, which is carried out to both sexual partners, patients are prohibited from having sex, drinking alcohol, spicy and salty foods.

After completing the course of treatment, both partners take control tests for chlamydia and repeat the tests twice after a month or two. Women should be tested after menstruation.

When treating all types of chlamydial infections, it is very important to observe personal hygiene measures (daily change of underwear, personal towels, etc.).

Find out more:

  • Chlamydia. Chlamydia trachomatis in men - diagnosis
  • Chlamydia. Diagnostics, analyzes, results and treatment
  • Chlamydial pneumonia in children - symptoms and treatment
  • Chlamydia treatment with Azithromycin
  • Chlamydia in men - treatment and prevention

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