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Paper Topic:

Chlamydia trachomatis

Chlamydia Trachomatis

Introduction

There are a lot of people today , especially the youth , who are unaware of the prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD . These diseases include HIV /AIDS , gonorrhea , chancroid , syphilis , hepatitis B , and herpes , among many others (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2008

However , aside from the diseases mentioned above , another common sexually transmitted disease is Chlamydia infection . According to the statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC , in 2006 , there were 1 ,030 ,911 reported cases of Chlamydia infection in the 50

states of the America and District of Columbia

Moreover , also in the same year , the overall rate of chlamydial infection among women in the United States was three times as high as the rate among men . There were 515 .8 chlamydial cases reported for every 100 ,000 women while there were 173 .0 cases for every 100 ,000 men (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 2007 . Basically , these statistics indicate that women are more prone to chlamydial infection as compared to men

Furthermore , chalmdydial infection is more prevalent among the youth particularly women . In 2006 , the highest number of reported cases were among women aged 15 to 19 , which accounted for a for every 100 ,000 females (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2007

In this regard , this will discuss the characteristics of Chlamydia trachomatis as well as the various illnesses it causes , its treatment and its vaccines if there are any . This will also assess the severity of the diseases caused by the bacteria and briefly outline the measures being done by major health organizations to prevent the diseases from spreading further

Overview and of Chlamydia trachomatis

Basically , Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacterium that belongs to the genus Chlamydia , family Chlamydiaceae , under class Chlamydiae . The bacteria are only found among humans as there are no other organisms that been found to be infected with the bacteria . When viewed under a microscope , the bacteria are typically rod-shaped . In addition , they also require live and growing cells in to remain alive and viable

Chalmydia trachomatis are also intracellular and obligate aerobes which mean that they only exist within a cell and cannot live without the presence of oxygen (Pommerville , 2006 . In addition , the Chlamydia cannot make its own ATP (energy ) unless it infects a cell and cannot also be grown in an artificial medium , which made researches thought it was a virus (Pommerville , 2006

Moreover , its unique cell wall structure also made it appear that is was virulent as it did not allow the fusion of phagolysosome in phagocytes (Case et al , 2006 , which are white blood cells that ingest and kill foreign particles or organisms inside the body such as bacteria . In short , the bacteria can resist intracellular killing . Its cell wall has an outer lipopolysaccharide membrane but it lacks a peptidoglycan layer . However , it contains proteins that are rich in cysteine , are believed to be the equivalent of the peptidoglycan (Case et al , 2006

Furthermore , the Chlamydia has two forms : the Elementary Bodies and the Reticulate Bodies (University of South Carolina School of Medicine 2007 . The Elementary Bodies are the infections form of the Chlamydia that attach themselves to the host cell and initiate infection . On the other hand , the Reticulate Bodies are the non-infectious form of the Chlamydia that actively replicate within the host cell (University of South Carolina School of Medicine , 2007

Basically , in to reproduce the Elementary Bodies of the Chlamydia binds to the receptors of the host cell wherein they reorganize and restructure to become Reticulate Bodies (University of South Carolina School of Medicine , 2007 . While inside the host cell , the Reticulate Bodies replicate through binary fission and reorganize into Elementary Bodies which are released from the host cell to repeat the whole cycle (University of South Carolina School of Medicine , 2007

Symptoms , Diseases , and Complications

As discussed before , Chlamydial infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States and it occurs frequently among people who are sexually active or people who have multiple sex partners . Basically , the symptoms of the infection differ between men and women

Among men , the symptoms include burning sensation while urinating testicular tenderness or pain , discharge from the penis , and rectal discharge or pain (US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health , 2007 . On the other hand , among women the symptoms also include rectal discharge or pain and burning sensation during urination but as well vaginal discharge , and pain during sexual intercourse , among others (US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health , 2007

However , one of most common conditions caused by Chlamydia trachomatis in both men and women is trachoma , which is the inflammation and formation of follicles on the entire conjuntiva and can subsequently lead to blindness (United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health , 2007

Moreover , among males , it can cause prostatitis , which is the inflammation of the prostate gland , and epididymitis , which is the painful inflammation of the epididymis (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention , 2007 . On the other hand , among females , Chlamydia can cause conditions such as premature birth , ec pregnancy , which is the implantation of the ovum in any tissue other than the wall of the uterine as well as pelvic inflammatory disease , which is the infection and inflammation of the lining of the fallopian tubes , the ovaries , or the uterus and can lead to chronic pelvic pain (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention , 2007

Furthermore , Chalmdyial infections can also result in diseases and conditions that are present in both men and women such as infertility which is the inability of a man or a woman to biologically play a part in the conception of a child urethritis , which is the inflammation of the urethra characterized by difficult or painful urination and rectal bleeding (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 2007

In addition , the bacteria can also cause Lymphogranuloma veneruem , which is an infection of the lymph nodes and the lymphatics . It first appears as a lesion that appears at infection site , often at the penis or the vagina . In the second stage , the lymph nodes become inflamed and may rupture which causes it to drain (University of South Carolina School of Medicine , 2007 . The disease is accompanied by headache , fever , and muscle pain and can ultimately lead to genital ulcers and elephantiasis due to the obstruction in the lymphatics (University of South Carolina School of Medicine , 2007

Treatment and Prevention

Basically , Chlamydial infection , being bacterial in nature , can be treated with antibiotics . These antibiotics include tetracycline azithromycin , and erythromycin (United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health , 2007 . However , according to the CDC , treatment can prove futile in areas where there is a high risk for re-infection such as impoverished countries or areas in which people are not aware that they have Chlamydia or they simply do not have the means to get themselves medically checked for Chlamydial infection

Moreover , there are no proven effective vaccines to prevent the disease (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention , 2007 . According to the CDC , the best way to prevent Chlamydial infection is to abstain from sexual intercourse , especially with those who have a questionable or an unknown medical record . The CDC strongly recommends that people particularly those who are sexually active , to choose a partner who has been medically proven and tested to be uninfected by the disease

Furthermore , according to the CDC , sexually active men and women who are 25 years old or younger , pregnant women , and other people who are at risk for Chlamydial infection should have themselves tested yearly

Conclusion

Generally , from the discussions above , it can be deduced that Chlamydial infection is a very serious sexually transmitted disease and should not be taken lightly . Considering the high number of cases of Chlamydial infection by the CDC in the United States alone and considering the fact that there are a lot of people , particularly the youth , who are sexually active and tend to be careless when choosing a partner , it can be concluded that Chlamydia is slowly becoming a silent ' or unspoken ' pandemic that is threatening to affect a lot of lives unless preventive measures are taken

In other words , the mere fact that the disease can lead to a lot of serious complications means that people have to be more aware of the disease and have to be more careful when having sexual intercourse

References

Case , C . L , Funke , B . R , and Tortora , G . J (2006 . Microbiology : An Introduction . USA : Benjamin Cummings

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007 . Chlamydia . Retrieved April 18 , 2008 from http /www .cdc .gov /std /Chlamydia /default .htm stat

Pommerville , J . C (2006 . Alcamo 's Fundamentals of Microbiology . Jones and Barlett Publishers

United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health (2007 . Chlamydia . Retrieved April 18 , 2008 from http /www .nlm .nih .gov /medlineplus /ency /article /001345 .htm

University of South Carolina School of Medicine (2007 . Chlamydia Microbiology and Immunology On-Line . Retrieved April 18 , 2008 from http /pathmicro .med .sc .edu /mayer /chlamyd .htm

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