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Chlamydia trachomatis

Chlamydia-clam
Picmonic
Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular human pathogen that has three human serovars that cause disease. Serovars A-C cause trachoma, an infection of the eyes that produce a characteristic roughening of the inner surface of the eyelids. Individuals commonly experience symptoms of follicular conjunctivitis and experience non-specific inflammation and thickening of the papillae. Continued inflammation can lead to scarring of the eyelid that leads to distortion causing the eyelid to buckle and the lashes rub on the eye, causing scarring and blindness. This form is most prevalent in Africa and is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the world. Serovars D-K are associated with urethritis and pelvic inflammatory disease. Complications caused by scarring of the fallopian tubes can cause ectopic pregnancy, which can be life threatening. Infants that pass through the vaginal canal of women with this serovar during delivery can develop neonatal pneumonia, characterized by a staccato cough, and neonatal conjunctivitis. Serovars L1-3 cause lymphogranuloma venereum, which is a sexually transmitted disease that causes tender, enlarged lymph nodes called buboes in the groin region. Errata note:
For many years, N gonorrhoeae was thought to be the sole causative agent of the syndrome. Most experts now believe C trachomatis is the culprit more often than N gonorrhoeae.

From the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine “Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome: A diagnosis to consider in women with right upper quadrant pain”.

However, most sources continue to state that N gonorrhoeae is the most common cause of FHCS.


14 KEY FACTS
CHARACTERISTICS
A to C
ABC

Serovars A-C cause trachoma, an infection of the eyes that can cause blindness.

Trachoma
Tacoma-truck

An infection of the eyes that produce a characteristic roughening of the inner surface of the eyelids. Individuals commonly experience symptoms of follicular conjunctivitis and experience non-specific inflammation and thickening of the papillae. Continued inflammation can lead to scarring of the eyelid that leads to distortion, causing the eyelid to buckle and the lashes rub on the eye, causing scarring and blindness.

Follicular Conjunctivitis
Hair-follicles on Convict-eye-on-fire

Trachoma can cause inflammation of the follicles on the upper eyelid, causing follicular conjunctivitis.

Blindness
Blinds-over-eye

Continued inflammation in trachoma can lead to scarring of the eyelid that leads to distortion causing the eyelid to buckle and the lashes to rub on the eye, causing scarring and blindness. This is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the world.

Africa
African chorus and flag

Trachoma is most prevalent in Africa.

L1 to 3
L1 to 3

Serovars L1-3 cause lymphogranuloma venereum, which is a sexually transmitted disease that causes tender, enlarged lymph nodes called buboes in the groin region.

Lymphogranuloma venereum
Lymph-lime-granny-llama

Serovars L1-3 cause lymphogranuloma venereum, which is a sexually transmitted disease that causes tender, enlarged lymph nodes called buboes in the groin region.

Buboes
Blue-bow

A bubo refers to swelling of the lymph nodes that can ulcerate. In lymphogranuloma venereum, buboes are common in the groin region.

Genital Ulcer
Genital-gentleman with Ulcer-volcano

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) commonly begins as a self-limited painless genital ulcer 3-12 days after inoculation. However, many people do not notice the primary infection because the ulcerations can occur in the mucosal layer of the vaginal wall, is painless, and heals in few days.

D to K
DK Character

Serovars D-K are associated with urethritis and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Urethritis and PID
Uterus-in-flames

Serovars D-K cause a sexually transmitted infection that can cause urethritis in women and can cause pelvic inflammatory disease if untreated. Pelvic Inflammatory disease refers to inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries and can cause scarring with adhesions to nearby tissues and organs. This can lead to ectopic pregnancy or infertility in women.

Neonatal Pneumonia
Nude-Mona with baby

Infants that pass through the vaginal canal of women with Chlamydia trachomatis serovars D-K during delivery can develop neonatal pneumonia, which is a lung infection in a neonate. This form of neonatal pneumonia has a characteristic staccato cough.

Staccato Cough
Staccato-cough

A staccato cough describes a type of cough that occurs in short sudden bursts and can be seen in infants with neonatal pneumonia caused by Chlamydia.

Neonatal Conjunctivitis
Baby Convict-eye-on-fire

Infants that pass through the vaginal canal of women with Chlamydia trachomatis serovars D-K during delivery can develop neonatal conjunctivitis, characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva.

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