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Chlamydia Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis hence the name Chlamydia The word chlamys is Greek for cloak draped around the shoulder This describes how the intracytoplasmic inclusions caused by the bacterium are draped around the infected cells nucleus Scientists discovered the organism in 1907 although it probably has been infecting people for hundreds of years Because the symptoms of the disease resemble other pathologies chlamydia was not recognized as a sexually transmitted disease until recently Isolation from embryonated eggs in 1957 and from cell culture in 1963 confirmed its existence as a bacterium Madigan However since the organism is an obligate intracellular parasite that exclusively infects humans it cannot synthesize its own ATP or grow on artificial medium it was once thought to be a virusHatch Because of Chlamydias unique developmental cycle it was taxonomically classified in a separate order It can thus be found with the other well-known intracellular parasites rickettsiae in diagnostic manuals Until recently however there were no reliable and easy tests for chlamydia Chlamydia prevention and patient care were impeded by the lack of suitable laboratory tests for screening and diagnosis Such tests are now available Through education screening partner referral and proper patient care public health workers and health-care practitioners can combine efforts to decrease the morbidity and costs resulting from this infection Chlamydia is the number one bacterial sexually transmitted disease STD in the United States today Four million new cases of chlamydia occur each year It is many times more common than gonorrhea Chlamydia infection is primarily transmitted from person to person through contact with the mucous membranes of the vagina urethra rectum or mouth The chief mode of transmission is sexual intercourse-oral anal or genital The infection can be present for long periods of time even years without any signs of infection Its particularly common among teens and young adults Pelvic inflammatory disease PID which can be caused by chlamydia is a
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