Chlamydia are a wide-branched family of bacteria that, depending on their subgroups, can cause various diseases. Chlamydia is an intracellular pathogen and requires cells from other organisms for its survival and multiplication. They can cause many diseases, from pneumonia to vascular calcification, and possibly heart attacks. Two important subgroups can be distinguished:
1. Chlamydia pneumoniae
2. Chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia pneumoniae can cause inflammation of the bronchi (bronchitis) and sinuses (sinusitis). This type of Chlamydia is widespread and can lead to pneumonia (often referred to as ‘atypical pneumonia’, which is usually mild in effect).
Chlamydia pneumoniae is usually spread by infected people via coughing or sneezing. Tiny droplets carry the bacteria and if another person breathes them in then this can lead to infection. An individual can also get sick by touching a droplet from an infected person and then touching their nose or mouth. The incubation period is relatively long, and it can take up to 3-4 weeks for an individual to develop symptoms after exposure. The infection can spread quickly in crowded settings such as schools and hospitals.
Patients who test negative for Lyme disease but still display Lyme symptoms should consider getting tested. Health Care Providers should consider both the symptoms and the lab results in order to arrive at a diagnosis. Infectolab Americas provide the ELISpot and serology testing for the monitoring and managing of Chlamydia pneumoniae.
People who are infected with Chlamydia pneumoniae and not by burgdorferi will have symptoms similar to those of Lyme disease. People who test negative for Lyme disease should consider testing for C. pneumoniae, as they share symptomatology. The common symptoms are listed below:
Sore throat and runny nose
The infection can be treated with antibiotics, although most patients recover on their own.