Chlamydia

Definition of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a disease caused by the bacteria . It is most commonly sexually transmitted.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Chlamydia infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Sexually active individuals and individuals with multiple partners are at highest risk.

Symptoms

As many as 1 in 4 men with chlamydia have no symptoms. In men, chlamydia may produce symptoms similar to gonorrhea. Symptoms may include:

Signs and tests

The diagnosis of chlamydia infection involves sampling of the urethral discharge in males or cervical secretions in females. If an individual engages in anal sexual contact, samples from the rectum may also be needed. The sample is sent for a fluorescent or monoclonal antibody test, DNA probe test, or cell culture. Some of these tests may also be performed on urine samples.

Treatment

The usual treatment for chlamydia is antibiotics, including tetracyclines, azithromycin, or erythromycin.

Expectations (prognosis)

Early antibiotic treatment is extremely successful and may prevent the development of long-term complications. Untreated infection, however, may lead to complications.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/7/2010

Antibodies

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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