Chlamydia trachomatis, commonly named as chlamydia, belongs to the bacteria family Chlamydiaceae. It is one of the four members of the genus Chlamydia, a genus of pathogenic bacteria that are obligate intracellular parasites. The chlamydia infection is the most reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the USA. Permanent damage to the fallopian tubes in women can be caused by chlamydia infections. What's more, an increase risk of ectopic pregnancy and future infertility are also possible results of chlamydia. Symptoms of Chlamydia trachomatis infection are very similar to gonorrhea infection, such as urethritis. Many infected people (both male and female) do not have any symptoms and is possible to be unknown about the fact that they have been infected. However, Chlamydia trachomatis is the most important single infectious agent associated with blinding trachoma. In the world, 84 million people are infected in the eye by Chlamydia trachomatis, and 8 million of them suffer from trachoma blindness.
Fig. 1 Chlamydia trachomatis in brown
Chlamydia trachomatis is an ovoid shaped nonmotile, Gram-negative bacterium. It is an intracellular bacterium that needs living host cells to multiply. The bacterium is non-spore-forming. However, it can transform from metabolically active replicative reticulate body (RB) into metabolically inactive elementary body (EB) when they are released from host cells, and expression different antigens during the life cycle. The EB acts like the spores when they are released between different hosts. 18 serotypes of Chlamydia trachomatis have been identified and they are catalogued into three human biovars. The first biovar include serotype Ab, B, Ba, or C, they infect on the eyes and cause trachoma which may lead to blindness. Members of the second biovar including serotype D to K, which may cause urethritis, neonatal pneumonia, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and neonatal conjunctivitis. The serotype L1, L2 and L3 are catalogued into the third biovar, which lead to the lymphogranuloma venereum.
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