Chlamydophila pneumoniae is a bacteria species that belongs to the family Chlamydiaceae, genus Chlamydophila. It is also known as Taiwan acute respiratory agent (TWAR) from the two original isolates: TW-183 of Taiwan and an acute respiratory isolate designated AR-39. Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection is a common cause of pneumonia all over the world. Pneumonia caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae is a form of community-acquired pneumonia and is acquired by otherwise-healthy people typically. Chlamydophila pneumoniae doesn't Gram stain well, and is not one of the traditional pathogens that cause pneumonia. The pneumonia caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae is described as an "atypical pneumonia" as its diagnosis and treatment are quite different from historically recognized causes (for example, the Streptococcus pneumoniae). Symptoms and signs of atypical pneumonia can include no responding to common antibiotics such as penicillin and sulfonamide, absence of leukocytosis, lack of alveolar exudate, no signs of lobar consolidation, moderate amount of sputum or no sputum at all, etc.
Fig.1 Chlamydophila pneumoniae particles
Chlamydophila pneumoniae is a small gram negative bacterium with the size of 0.2-1um. In the early age it was even thought to be a virus. Chlamydophila pneumoniae performs several transformations during its life cycle. It exists as an elementary body (EB) form between different hosts, which means a biologically inactive form to become resistant to environmental stresses and capable to survive outside a host for a limited time. The EB of Chlamydophila pneumoniae travels from an infected person to the lungs of an uninfected person in small droplets and then perform the infection. The EB in the endosome then will be taken up by cells through phagocytosis. Within the endosome, the EB will turn to a reticulate body (RB) and begin the replication. To complete the replication, the RB must use some of the host's cellular metabolism. The new born RB will turn to EB and are released back to the lung. The host cell is often dead by that time. And these new EB will continue to infect other host cells, either in the same organism or in a new host.
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