Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis

Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis




Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular parasite with 15 different serotypes.


  1. The chlamydial organism has two forms.

Elementary body (infectious): serotypes

LI, L2, L3: lymphogranuloma venereum

A, B, Ba, C: endemic blinding trachoma

D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K: oculogenital and STD strains

Reticulate body (multiplies to form inclusions) Epidemiology (Box 10-1).

Emerging as most common STD

Four million cases per year

Prevalence three to four times more than GC

Overall prevalence 3% to 5% (low risk), but greater than 20% of cases in STD clinics

Transmission exclusively by sexual contact or perinatal contact

Incubation period 6 to 14 days Risk factors for acquiring C. trachomatis.

Unmarried and sexually active

Multiple sexual partners

Use of oral contraceptives

Use of intrauterine device (IUD)

History of previous sexually transmitted disease

Known exposure with partner having an STD

Presence of concomitant STD especially N. gonorrhoeae

  1. Spotting after intercourse
  2. Intermenstrual spotting
  3. Vague complaints of lower abdominal pain




  CDC Screening Criteria for Chlamydia
 Mucopurulent cervicitis

Sexually active fewer than 20 years

20 to 24 years age (one criterion)

Greater than 24 years age (both criteria)

Inconsistent barrier contraception

New partner or more than 1 partner in last 3 months

CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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