Chlamydia pneumoniae is a species of bacteria that causes chlamydia, which affects humans and is a main trigger of pneumonia. Chlamydia pneumoniae has an intricate life cycle and can only thrive if it infects another cell. In this case, it is considered an “obligate intracellular pathogen.” Moreover, it has been observed that c. pneumoniae is linked to atherosclerosis and asthma.
A Look At Chlamydia Pneumoniae
The disease does not just infect humans but has also been found to infect Koalas, iguanas, frogs, chameleons, turtles and the emerald tree boa. The very first case of c. pneumoniae reported was a case of sinusitis in Taiwan. The bacterium usually instigates bronchitis, pharyngitis and atypical pneumonia among debilitated and elderly individuals. However, healthy individuals may also be affected.
What Chlamydia Pneumoniae Is
Chlamydia pneumoniae is on of the many types of pneumonia that can be triggered by different types of bacteria called chlamydia. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, where the air sacs and/or surrounding tissues in the lungs swell and where pus or fluid may build up in the alveoli. In this case, the lungs may be unable to obtain adequate amounts of oxygen. This in turns prevents blood from carrying oxygen to other parts of the body. The major types of chlamydia, which are chlamydia pneumoniae, chlamydia psittaci and chlamydia trachomatis, all can trigger a type of pneumonia.
Chlamydia Pneumoniae Symptoms
The symptoms of Chlamydia Pneumoniae are generally impossible to tell apart from other causes of pneumonia. These may involve breathing problems, cough and fever. Chlamydia pneumoniae mainly triggers laryngitis, pharyngitis and sinusitis compared to the other causes of pneumonia. Since several other causes of pneumonia leads to these symptoms, telling them apart cannot be done. Similarly, a physical exam by a health professional does not usually give out data that enables one to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
Chlamydia Pneumoniae Diagnosis
As mentioned earlier, diagnosis is problematic and currently open for debate. There is still no exact “standard” for the precise diagnosis of chlamydia pneumoniae. However, it may help to know what diagnostic options are available. Common diagnostic methods include :
- Serologic antibody test
- Antigen detection
- Cell structure
- Detection of specific DNA sequences by polymerase chain reaction.
The most frequently used diagnostic method today is Serology.
Chlamydia Pneumoniae Treatment
Many small clinical trials have shown that antibiotic treatment of chlamydia pneumoniae is linked to a better result in patients with coronary artery disease, also known as CAD. It has not been verified whether antibiotic treatment totally gets rid of the bacteria from vascular tissue. The goal of studies regarding the treatment of c. pneumoniae has been to evaluate the effect of clarithromycin on the existence of the bacteria in the vascular tissue of CAD patients.
Chlamydia pneumoniae affects anyone at any age. It is most frequently found among those aged 60 to 79 years. Re-infection after a short time of immunity is not rare. The prevalence is 1 case out of 1,000 annually. As of today, there are still no vaccines and the only preventative measure people can take is to practice good hygiene.