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Chlamydial Infections of the Genital Tract

Dr Sampurna Roy MD





Chlamydia trachomatis is a well recognized sexually transmitted pathogen.   

Chlamydia trachomatis (D-K) causes urethritis , epididymitis, and proctitis in men and cervicitis, salpingitis, urethritis and proctitis in women.

The highest age-specific rates for chlamydia are found in adolescents.

Female adolescents are more susceptible to STDs than older women because their cervical anatomic development is incomplete and especially sensitive to infection by certain sexually transmitted pathogens, and for some other features that characterize sexual behavior and health care behavior  of the young people.

Non-specific urethritis (NSU) is a sexually transmitted disease.

50% of cases are due to Chlamydia trachomatis, so that  this is the commonest sexually transmitted infection in the developed world.  

Chlamydia trachomatis also causes epididymitis, usually in those under age 35, and may occasionally be responsible for chronic prostatitis.

In women, Chlamydia trachomatis infection of the cervix is more common than gonorrhea. 

30% to 60 % of women with gonorrhea have concurrent Chlamydia trachomatis infection, and this organism is now recognized as a cause of acute salpingitis.      

Related post: Gonococcal Infection 

The spectrum of disease parallels gonococcal disease. For instance, chlamydial urethritis in men typically causes dysuria and a scant mucoid discharge, and in women cervicitis causes a mucopurulent exudates in the cervical os, hypertrophic cervical erythema, and friable surface epithelium.

The clinical presentation of acute chlamydial salpingitis include pelvic pain and fever and resembles that of gonococcal salpingitis.

Genital chlamydial infection is recognized as the world's most common sexually transmitted disease.

Although most Chlamydia trachomatis infections in men  and women are asymptomatic, infection can lead to severe reproductive complications in women.

The high prevalence in women of child-bearing age results in exposure of an estimated 100,000 neonates in the United States annually.

Besides its potential to produce genital tract infection, Chlamydia trachomatis is increasingly being associated with long-term complications like infertility.

Chlamydial infection is now readily diagnosable and the evidence increasingly suggests that it is underdiagnosed.

The diagnosis of chlamydial infections is best established by isolating the organism in tissue culture.

Direct fluorescent staining of cervical or urethral smears with monoclonal reagents is diagnostic, but light microscopy seldom discloses chlamydial inclusions in smear from the genital tract.

Serodiagnosis is also acceptable, particularly when there is a rising titer.

Visit: Chlamydial Infection  ; Trachoma ; Psittacosis (Ornithosis,Parrot Fever) ; Lymphogranuloma Venereum ; Chlamydial Conjunctivitis (Inclusion Conjunctivitis)  


Further reading:

Productivity losses attributable to untreated chlamydial infection and associated pelvic inflammatory disease in reproductive-aged women.

Chlamydia trachomatis infection & female infertility.

Chlamydia trachomatis infection in sexually active adolescents and young women.

Risk factors for Clamydia infections of the genital organs in adolescent females.

Genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection in pregnant adolescents in east Tennessee: a 7-year case-control study.

Chlamydial infections in gynaecology and obstetrics.

Chlamydia trachomatis: impact on human reproduction.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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