Chlamydia infection

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. It is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide,  occurring most frequently among young sexually active adults. The prevalence of C. trachomatis infection is highest among girls aged 15–19 years, followed by young women aged 20-24 years.

C. trachomatis is spread by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia, or from mother-to-child during childbirth. 

C. trachomatis causes cervicitis in women and urethritis in men, as well as extra-genital infections, including rectal and oropharyngeal infections. Untreated chlamydial infection may cause severe complications for the reproductive health of women including infertility. Maternal infection is associated with serious adverse outcomes in neonates. Chlamydia diagnosis is usually based on laboratory tests, and uncomplicated infection can be easily cured with antibiotics, and is usually resolved within days or weeks.

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LVG), a genital ulcer disease (GUD) that affects lymphoid tissue is caused by a more invasive strain (serovar) of C. trachomatis, and it is increasingly prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM) in some settings.

Non-ulcerative STIs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydial infection and trichomoniasis, have been shown to increase STI transmission, including HIV transmission and acquisition. Additionally, 10-40% of people with gonorrhea infection also have a Chlamydia infection.

Uncomplicated Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics and is usually resolved within days or weeks. Approximately 70% of women and 50% of men do not show any symptoms from genital infections due to Chlamydia.

What PAHO does