Chlamydia trachomatis is a Gram-negative obligate intracellular organism. Genital chlamydial infection is the commonest sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the UK (1).
One half of the infected men and around 70% of infected women are asymptomatic (2). Two third of the sexual partners of chlamydia-positive individuals are also positive for chlamydia infections (1).
The serotypes D-K may be acquired in neonates from the birth canal, giving rise to inclusion conjunctivitis.
In adults, infection is acquired by sexual contact causing:
- in men:
- in women:
- pelvic inflammatory disease
In women, up to half of all cases of cervicitis and 60% of all pelvic inflammatory disease may be caused by this organism. Ectopic pregnancy and tubal infertility are possible complications of genital chlamydia infection in women (2).
In tissue culture assays, the most active drugs against C. trachomatis are tetracyclines, followed by macrolides, sulphonamides, some quinolones and clindamycin (3).
- (1) BASHH (2006) 2006 national guideline for the management of genital tract infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. British Association for Sexual Health and HIV
- (2) SIGN. Management of genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection: a national clinical guideline. Edinburgh: Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network March 2009.
- (3) Stamm WE. Chlamydia trachomatis infections of the adult. In: HolmesKK, Sparling PF, Mardh P-A et al (Eds). Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Third Edition. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1999.
Last reviewed 01/2018