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Is Chlamydia A Bacterial Infection

How Is Chlamydia Transmitted

Chlamydia Infection Symptoms and Treatment (Antibiotic)

Sex without a condom or other barrier method and oral sex without a barrier method are the main ways a chlamydia infection can be transmitted.

Newborn babies can acquire chlamydia from their mother during birth. Most prenatal testing includes a chlamydia test, but it doesnt hurt to double-check with an OB-GYN during the first prenatal checkup.

A chlamydia infection in the eye can occur through oral or genital contact with the eyes, but this isnt common.

  • bleeding from this area

Having oral sex with someone who has the infection raises the risk of getting chlamydia in the throat. Symptoms can include a sore throat, cough, or fever. Its also possible to carry bacteria in the throat and not know it.

How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia

Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:

  • Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
  • Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.

What Are The Complications Of Chlamydia What If It Is Not Treated

Complications of untreated chlamydia include a significant number of women will develop pelvic inflammatory disease some women with pelvic inflammatory disease will develop a form of liver disease women may develop chronic pelvic pain and become sterile due to blockage of the Fallopian tubes that allow the egg to be transported from the ovary to the women’s womb.

More common in men, some may develop sexually acquired reactive arthritis or Reiter syndrome. Men may experience painful swelling of the testicles.

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How Is Chlamydia Treated

Chlamydia can be cleared up with antibiotics in about a week or two. But dont stop taking your medication just because your symptoms improve. Ask your provider about what follow-up is needed to be sure your infection is gone after youve finished taking your medicine.

Part of your treatment should also include avoiding sexual activities that could cause you to get re-infected and ensuring that any sexual partners who may be infected also get treatment. You should:

  • Abstain from sex until your infection has cleared up. Starting treatment doesnt mean that youre in the clear. Take all your medication as your provider directs, and avoid all sexual contact in the meantime.
  • Contact all sexual partners. Tell any sexual partners from the last 3 months that youre infected so that they can get tested, too.
  • Get tested for other STIs . Its common to have multiple STIs, and its important to receive treatment thats tailored to each infection.

Antibiotics can get rid of your infection, but they cant reverse any harm the bacteria may have caused to your body before treatment. This is why its so important to get screened regularly for chlamydia, to see your provider at the first sign of symptoms, and get treatment immediately if youre infected.

Chlamydial Infection Among Adolescents And Adults

Chlamydia infection

Chlamydial infection is the most frequently reported bacterial infectious disease in the United States, and prevalence is highest among persons aged 24 years . Multiple sequelae can result from C. trachomatis infection among women, the most serious of which include PID, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Certain women who receive a diagnosis of uncomplicated cervical infection already have subclinical upper genital tract infection.

Asymptomatic infection is common among both men and women. To detect chlamydial infection, health care providers frequently rely on screening tests. Annual screening of all sexually active women aged < 25 years is recommended, as is screening of older women at increased risk for infection . In a community-based cohort of female college students, incident chlamydial infection was also associated with BV and high-risk HPV infection . Although chlamydia incidence might be higher among certain women aged 25 years in certain communities, overall, the largest proportion of infection is among women aged < 25 years .

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Can I Test Myself For Chlamydia At Home

Home testing kits for chlamydia are widely available and can be purchased at many pharmacies or online.

These kits typically require a urine sample or tissue swab, which you can collect at home and securely ship back to the lab to receive your results.

Some companies also include a free medical consultation with a doctor if your test results are positive to review your treatment options.

Mechanism By Which Elementary Bodies Exit The Host Cell

Following the transformation of reticulate bodies into elementary bodies, they are released from the cell in one of two ways lysis of the host cell or extrusion of the inclusion .

Lysis of the host cell is destructive and results in the death of the cell. The process starts with the rapture of the membrane by cysteine proceases. This is then followed by rapture of the plasma membrane of the host cell to release the elementary bodies. This process causes the permeabilization of both the intrusion membrane and nuclear membrane and ultimately the lysis of the plasma membrane – This is calcium-dependent.

Extrusion of the inclusion follows the interaction between the cell of the host and the bacteria. This contact results in the invagination of the vacuole followed by furrowing of the plasma membrane of the host cell. This process results in the pinching of the cell which expels the inclusion from the host cell. Generally, this process leaves the host cell intact.

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Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:

Depending on the localization of the infection, women, men and children may experience inflamed rectum, urethra or eyelids. The symptoms of mouth and throat infections are rare although a person can suffer a sore throat. Eyes infected with chlamydia can be itchy, swelled, cause painful sensations or produce discharge similar to conjunctivitis. Infection in the rectum results in bleeding, chlamydia discharge and pain.

How Do You Get Chlamydia

Red Eye – Chlamydia, Neisseria, and Herpes Infections

Rarely, you can get chlamydia by touching your eye if you have infected fluids on your hand. Chlamydia can also be spread to a baby during birth if the mother has it.

Chlamydia isnt spread through casual contact, so you CANT get chlamydia from sharing food or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on the toilet.

Using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex is the best way to help prevent chlamydia.

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases /sexually Transmitted Infections

STDs/STIs are either viral or bacterial. A viral infection is caused by a virus and cannot be cured. However, although a virus will remain in the body for life, symptoms of the virus might not be present at all times. A bacterial infection is caused by a bacterial organism, and the active infection can be cured. The infection must be treated early, however, to ensure that the damage it caused to the body can be repaired. Whether an infection is viral or bacterial, the infection can have long-term effects on the body, such as infertility or sterility, and can leave the body vulnerable to more serious diseases, such as HIV. Ultimately, untreated STDs/STIs can affect numerous organ systems in the body.

Alcohol and drug use frequently play a role in STD/STI transmission because both may cause impaired judgment, leaving a person more vulnerable to engaging in risky behaviors such as unprotected or unwanted sex. Routine testing and screening for STDs/STIs, HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C through a health care provider is critical for treatment and prevention of complications. Treatment may require medicine specific to the infection, as prescribed by a health care provider.

Rules For Successful Treatment

The patient should make sure that the doctor is informed if the patient is pregnant or has any allergies. These conditions influence the choice of the medicine prescribed. No matter which antibiotic the patient takes treating chlamydia the following points should be remembered:

  • The treatment of all partners on the infected person is obligatory
  • Abstain from sex contacts during the treatment and until the negative result on chlamydia test is received
  • It is unadvisable to interrupt the course of antibiotics treatment as it will result in the necessity to start again from the beginning. Although the symptoms may disappear, the infection may still remain in the body
  • It is necessary to get tested after 34 months after the end of the treatment to make sure the infection is no longer in the body.

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Who To Test For Chlamydia

Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:

  • A burning sensation when peeing
  • Unusual sores, or a rash

Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.

Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40

At the initial HIV care visit, providers should test all sexually active people for chlamydia. Test at least each year during HIV care. A patients healthcare provider might determine more frequent screening is necessary, based on the patients risk factors.42

Symptoms Can Differ For Men And Women

3d model chlamydia bacteria humans

By and large, most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic they are picked up by screening, which is why it’s so important to have good screening programs in place, notes Dr. Stoner. Men or women who have chlamydia symptoms may experience painful urination.

Women may also have these symptoms:

  • Smelly discharge from the cervix
  • Pain during sex

And men may have these symptoms:

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How To Help Partners Get Treatment

If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.

This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.

The Health Risks Of Chlamydia

For up to 40 percent of infected women, untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID effects include abdominal pain, fever, internal abscesses and long-lasting pelvic pain effects also include scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility and increase the chance of potentially life-threatening ectopic or tubal pregnancies.

Men can develop scarring of the urethra, making urination difficult and occasionally causing infertility. Although rare, both sexes are at risk of a type of arthritis known as Reiter’s Syndrome that causes inflammation and swelling of the joints.

If a pregnant woman has chlamydia, her baby may be born prematurely, have eye infections or develop pneumonia.

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Ophthalmia Neonatorum Caused By C Trachomatis

A chlamydial etiology should be considered for all infants aged 30 days who experience conjunctivitis, especially if the mother has a history of chlamydial infection. These infants should receive evaluation and age-appropriate care and treatment.

Preventing Ophthalmia Neonatorum Caused by C. trachomatis

Neonatal ocular prophylaxis with erythromycin, the only agent available in the United States for this purpose, is ineffective against chlamydial ophthalmia neonatorum . As an alternative, prevention efforts should focus on prenatal screening for C. trachomatis, including

Neonates born to mothers for whom prenatal chlamydia screening has been confirmed and the results are negative are not at high risk for infection.

Diagnostic Considerations

Treatment

Erythromycin base or ethylsuccinate 50 mg/kg body weight/day orally, divided into 4 doses daily for 14 days*

* An association between oral erythromycin and azithromycin and infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis has been reported among infants aged < 6 weeks. Infants treated with either of these antimicrobials should be followed for IHPS signs and symptoms.

Although data regarding use of azithromycin for treating neonatal chlamydial infection are limited, available data demonstrate that a short therapy course might be effective . Topical antibiotic therapy alone is inadequate for treating ophthalmia neonatorum caused by chlamydia and is unnecessary when systemic treatment is administered.

Follow-Up

Chlamydia Can Be Prevented

Chlamydia: Sexually Transmitted Infection Symptoms and Treatment

The most effective way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. However, if you wish to have sexual contact, you can reduce your risk of infection with these actions:

  • Minimizing the number of partners with whom you have intimate contact
  • Asking your partners to get screened for STDs before engaging in sexual activity
  • Always using latex condoms when having intercourse of any kind

Additional reporting by Ingrid Strauch.

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How Is It Contracted

Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:

  • unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
  • sharing sex toys
  • from mother to the newborn during vaginal childbirth through the infected birth channel
  • infection can be transferred on fingers from the genitals to other parts of the body

Chlamydia is not contracted through simple kissing, handshaking, any casual contacts, sharing baths, towels and cups as well as from toilet seats.

Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of four bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia. 3D illustration

Antibiotics Are A Highly Effective Cure For Chlamydia Infection

Antibiotics prescribed for chlamydia include:

A single oral dose of Zithromax is the most common treatment. Other drugs may be given in varying doses for a period of up to a week. Most cases of chlamydia clear up within a week after you start on antibiotics.

If you think you have been exposed to chlamydia, Stoner says, see your healthcare provider to receive antibiotic medication to prevent the onset of infection.

The partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia will need treatment, too, and in some states they can get it without a doctor visit through a practice called expedited partner therapy, in which the first person treated delivers the treatment to their partner or partners.

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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia

Antibiotics can easily cure chlamydia. Treatment options are the same, whether a person also has HIV or not.

Patients treated with single-dose antibiotics should not have sex for seven days. Patients treated with a seven-day course of antibiotics should not have sex until they complete treatment, and their symptoms are gone. This helps prevent spreading the infection to sex partners. It is important to take all medicine prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medicine should not be shared with anyone. Although treatment will cure the infection, it will not repair any long-term damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, a healthcare provider should reevaluate them.

Repeat infection with chlamydia is common.49 Women whose sex partners do not receive appropriate treatment are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health problems .50,51A healthcare provider should retest those with chlamydia about three months after treatment of an initial infection. Retesting is necessary even if their partners receive successful treatment.40

Infants with chlamydia may develop conjunctivitis and/or pneumonia.10 Healthcare providers can treat infection in infants with antibiotics.

Alternation Of Elementary And Reticulate Bodies In The Life Cycle Of Chlamydia

Chlamydia

Elementary body are metabolically inert and small in size. They are characterized by a rigid outer membrane that consists of proteins with a high content of disulfide cross-linked cysteine.

This membrane is beneficial for the parasite given that it allows them to survive the harsh conditions of the extracellular environment. In order to penetrate the cells of the host, the elementary body first attaches to their cell membrane using their ligands. These allow the bacteria to attach to the receptors of the host before they can inject their effectors into the cytosol of the cell .

While the entire mechanism of this attachment is not fully understood, a number of host proteins are also suspected to contribute to this attachment. These include the mannose 6-phosphate receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, as well as the estrogen receptor complex among others.

Following the injection of pre-packaged effectors into the cytosol of the host, an inclusion is formed housing the elementary bodies as they transform into reticulate bodies.

In some cases, many elementary bodies bind to the cell membrane of the same cell resulting in the formation of many inclusions. These inclusions may fuse to form a single, large inclusion in which the parasites reside as they transform to form the reticulate bodies.

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How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia

Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:

  • An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
  • Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
  • Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.

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