Chlamydia Symptoms and Treatment
Chlamydia infection is caused by bacteria and bacteria also can cause many diseases. Depending on the chlamydia sub-group, mainly sexual organs, eyes, or respiratory tract are affected. The chlamydia infection is also one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Because of the potential complications of chlamydia,it should always be treated. Here you can learn everything Important about the chlamydia infection.
What is Chlamydia ?
Chlamydia is a bacterium that can cause various symptoms. The best known and most frequent chlamydia infection can be found in the genitourinary tract (urogenital chlamydia infection). Bacteria can infect rapidly through unprotected sex. Therefore, Chlamydia infection is one of the widespread STDs (sexually transmitted diseases, STD) or infections (sexually transmitted infections, STI). A vaginal Chlamydia infection can easily be transmitted at birth to the child.
There are three known pathogens of Chlamydia infection: These are ‘’Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia psittaci’’.
Chlamydia trachomatis : There are three different groups of serotypes of chlamydia trachomatis.
- Serotype A-C : It can cause a chronic cornea and conjunctiva inflammation of the eye. if is untreated, it can lead to blindness of the person who is concerned. The pathogens can be found only in the eye and is transmitted mainly by smear infection (hand / eye). Whether Flies can carry the pathogen is not yet sure. Diseases caused by serotype A-C are mainly found in Egypt, China and India, and are usually a result of poor hygiene facilities. Sufferers areusually diagnosed in childhood.
- Serotype D-K: A chlamydial infection in the genital area occurs by the serotypes D-K. These are transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse or smear infections. Infection with this chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world.
- Serotype L1-L3: This subset of Chlamydia trachomatis is mainly Asia and Africa. It is also rare in central Europe. Infection with chlamydia occurs through unprotected sexual intercourse and leads to whic is called called lymphogranuloma venereum. This sexually transmitted disease manifests itself mainly through small ulcers and painful swollen lymph glands in the genital area.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae): It is the cause of respiratory symptoms through to pneumonia and is transmitted primarily by droplet infection as coughing or sneezing.
Chlamydophila psittaci: Birds mainly suffer from chlamydophila psittaci. Especially parrots, pigeons and parakeets. But people can be infected with the pathogen.This chlamydia form causes’’ flu-like symptoms with fever and headache also respiratory symptoms such as coughing.’’ Chlamydophila psittaci may be caused by close contact with infected animals.
Chlamydia Causes (infection and transmission)
Chlamydia trachomatis: Adults are infected often in swimming pools where there is not enough chlorine to kill the chlamydia bacterias. Widelyspread Chlamydia trachomatis is genital pathogens. In women, the bacteria cause inflammation of the uterus, ovaries or urethra and in men , it affects urethra and epididymis and prostate. The pathogens are transmitted during sexual intercourse, mostly from the woman to the man.
- Chlamydophila pneumoniae: Chlamydophila pneumoniae are widelyspread and can also be transmitted from person to person. The relatively mild pneumonia occurs mainly as an epidemic after long-haul flights and is perhaps the most common chlamydial disease in humans. It is believed that between a quarter and half of the adult population had contact with these pathogens because specific antibodies are detectable in many people’s blood.
- Chlamydophila psittaci: Chlamydophila psittaci is transmitted from birds, especially from parrots to humans. Mostly through the inhalation of dust from bird droppings. Even cats, cattle or sheep have been described as a source of infection. The bacteria infect the airways and lead to one to two weeks to severe pneumonia with fever, chills, and sometimes skin lesions. The infection can spread to the liver, spleen, or central nervous system as well, which is classified as a dangerous complication.
Infection with chlamydia causes different symptoms which depens on chlamydia type or disease is.
Urinary tract infection and genital organs: Serotype D-K of Chlamydia trachomatis cause a chlamydial infection of the urinary tract and sexual organs. Infection with this chlamydia is common and one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world. The main reason is that infection with these pathogens especially often causes only mild symptoms in women and thereby remain undetected.
Symptoms in women: Chlamydia appear before a purulent inflammation of the urethra. They can develop into an inflammation of Bartholin’s gland, a cervical inflammation and tubal inflammation. Infection can also spread from the fallopian tubes to the ovaries.
Chlamydia infection may be noticeable by various symptoms. Symptoms include ;
- Strong outflow
- Burning and itching during urination
- Severe pain in the lower abdomen
In many cases, a genital infection with chlamydia in women usually has no symptoms.Therefore, it is not frequently recognized.
Symptoms in men: it is about two or six weeks after genital infection with chlamydia appear with complaints. Chlamydia in men appear with purulent inflammation of the urethra, and in rare cases, an epididymitis. The urethritis can manifest itself in men by various symptoms. such as:
- Muco-purulent discharge
- Withdrawing painful urination
- Itching and burning sensation during urination
Chlamydia does not always show symptoms and it appear in men less than women.
Trachoma: The serotype A-C of Chlamydia trachomatis can cause a rare in infection of the eyes: This is called trachoma. If it is untreated, it can lead to blindness. Trachoma causes by the following noticeable symptoms:
- Watery eyes
- Photo sensitivity
- Feeling of pressure in the eye
Lymphogranuloma venereum: Lymphogranuloma venereum is a rare venereal disease which is caused by the serotype L1-L3 of Chlamydia trachomatis. Within one to three weeks after infection form in the genital skin sores and this develop into an ulcer. After two to six weeks, the lymph nodes in the groin area to swell inflammatory painful and begin to fester. At the same time there may be general illness symptoms such as fever, body aches and headaches.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae causes a respiratory infection that is manifested by symptoms such as cough or fever. Sometimes also develop pneumonia from the infection.
- Psittacosis: Especially sick birds which is caused by Chlamydophila psittaci can cause in rare cases to parrot fever (psittacosis, ornithosis).
Symptoms; fever, chills, joint and headaches and coughing.
Reactive arthritis: Especially young men are affected. This complication may be manifested among other things by a febrile arthritis. In the course of reactive arthritis can also occur more inflammatory reactions in other areas of the body such as the eyes.
To determine if you have an infection with chlamydia is present, the doctor will first ask about your symptoms. For an accurate diagnosis also a physical examination and laboratory tests are needed.
Urinary tract infection and genital organs: An infection of the urinary tract and sexual organs with Chlamydia trachomatis (serotype D-K), doctor usually takes a swab (in women a swab of the cervix, in men a swab of the urethra) and sends it to the lab. Also a urine sample can help for diagnosis.
From the swab or from the urine sample can be detected using a special method (the so-called PCR) whether the sample material genetic material (DNA) of Chlamydia trachomatis (serotype D-K) occurs.
It also can be determined by detecting antibodies in a blood sample. A positive result only proves that the immune system has dealt with this pathogen.Thus, information about whether it is an acute or already longer lasting infection. An additional consideration is that it may take several weeks for an acute infection until the immune system starts to produce antibodies against Chlamydia. However, an antibody test can serve as an indication of possible causes of infertility.
Eye infection (trachoma): Victims of an eye infection which is caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis species (serotype A-C) have recently travelled to countries such as Egypt, China or India where diseases occur mainly by this chlamydia. In addition, the doctor examines the eyes closer, for example, with a slit lamp.
Respiratory infection: Chlamydophila pneumoniae is the cause of respiratory infection, it can be seen only through a laboratory test. For this one usually uses either a blood sample or a sample of sputum or bronchial secretions.
Chlamydias are bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. On the treatment of chlamydial infection is given to patient mainly antibiotics from the group of tetracyclines (such as doxycycline) or macrolides (such as erythromycin, azithromycin).
Pregnant women and children should not receive tetracyclines for treatment.There is an alternative treatment with the active ingredient erythromycin.
Chlamydia Process and Complications
Untreated chlamydia infection can lead to complications.
1.Infection with Chlamydia trachomatis
Urinary tract infection and genital organs: A urinary tract infection and genital chlamydia trachomatis (serotype D-K) gives most discomfort. Therefore, it makes sense to go with mild symptoms to the doctor in order to treat the condition as early as possible and to avoid complications. With antibiotic therapy chlamydia can be treated easily..
In women, there is a risk that the inflammation spreads further if the genital area is untreated. Late effects may occur,for example; infertility, as when the fallopian tubes are bonded by the chlamydia infection.
Other possible complications of Chlamydia infection are ;
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Increased risk of preterm birth
In men, untreated chlamydia spread to prostate and epididymis. Whether it can lead to sterility in men as a result of chlamydial infection is not yet entirely clear.
Neonatal infection: An untreated chlamydia infection (Chlamydia trachomatis, serotype D-K) in women is transmitted in 60 to 70 out of 100 cases during birth to the newborn. it can lead to conjunctivitis, pneumonia or in rare cases, to a middle ear infection that must be treated.
2- Infection with Chlamydophila pneumoniae
Respiratory infections are caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae are common. There are usually no complications. Only in very rare cases, result of infection can cause to an endocarditis (endocarditis), heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) or a reactive arthritis come.
3- Infection with Chlamydophila psittaci
In the course of an infection with Chlamydophila psittaci which is called ‘’psittacosis’’ may cause various complications in the course, such as ;
- Endocarditis (endocarditis)
- Myocarditis (myocarditis)
- Pericarditis (pericarditis)
- Phlebitis (thrombophlebitis)
- Reactive arthritis
How to Prevent Chlamydia ?
The different chlamydial species are transmitted in different ways.
A urinary tract infection and genital Chlamydia trachomatis (serotype D-K) and lymphogranuloma venereum (serotype L1-L3) are transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse.Therefore, using condoms (even in anal or oral sex) can be the best protection.
If a pregnant woman has a genital infection with Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) and there is a risk that the bacteria are transmitted during birth on the newborn. Therefore, screening for these bacterias must be part of prenatal care.
To eye infections (trachoma) by Chlamydia trachomatis (serotype A-C) is particularly important in countries where the population by poor water supply, a lack of personal hygiene is possible. Therefore, trachoma can be easily prevented through improved hygiene.
A respiratory infection is caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae can not be prevent directly. However, you can indirectly try to protect yourself from infection, for example, by strengthening your immune system: Above all, a healthy, balanced diet and adequate exercise and sleep help.