Chlamydial infections

Chlamydial infections

Urethritis in men and urethritis and cervicitis in women make up a group of infections that are linked to one organism: Chlamydia trachomatis. These chlamydial infections are the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, affecting an estimated 4 million Americans each year.

Trachoma inclusion conjunctivitis, a chlamydial infection that occurs rarely in the United States, is a leading cause of blindness in third world countries. Lymphogranuloma venereum, a rare disease in the United States, is also caused by C. trachomatis.

Untreated, chlamydial infections can lead to such complications as acute epididymitis, salpingitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and, eventually, sterility. Some studies show that chlamydial infections in pregnant women are associated with spontaneous abortion and premature delivery. Other studies haven’t confirmed these findings.


Transmission of C. trachomatis primarily follows vaginal or rectal intercourse or oral-genital contact with an infected person. Because signs and symptoms of chlamydial infections commonly appear late in the course of the disease, sexual transmission of the organism typically occurs unknowingly.

Children born of mothers who have chlamydial infections may contract associated conjunctivitis, otitis media, and pneumonia during passage through the birth canal.

Signs and symptoms

Both men and women with chlamydial infections may be asymptomatic or may show signs of infection on physical
examination. (See Signs and symptoms of chlamydial infections.) Individual signs and symptoms vary with the specific type of chlamydial infection and are determined by the organism’s route of transmission to susceptible tissue.

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Jun 16, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Chlamydial infections

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