Chlamydia: Risk of Sequelae After Chlamydia Trachomatis Genital Infection

Subject: Venereology
Pages: 2
Words: 638
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Chlamydia, a human sexually transmitted infection (STI), is caused by the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. C. trachomatis is an obligate gram-negative intracellular pathogen that infects the respiratory, ocular, and genital tissues (O’Connell & Ferone, 2016). The disease is transmitted from one person to another through genital contact, meaning one can contract the infection either through unprotected sex or when genitals touch with an infected individual. However, chlamydia cannot be passed through sharing towels, kissing, using a similar toilet, and hugging an infected person. Though it infects both women and men, genital tract chlamydial infections often present as asymptomatic in females and are the leading cause of ectopic pregnancy, tubal factor infertility, and pelvic inflammatory disease (Haggerty et al., 2010). This essay describes the mortality, morbidity, incidence, and prevalence of chlamydia in the US and its preventive and treatment procedure.

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The overall mortality rate from chlamydial infections is less than 0.1 deaths for every 100,000 people aged 15-44 years, with only twenty-eight deaths occurring per year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. trachomatis is the chief cause of bacterial STIs in America – more than 1,441, 789 cases were reported in 2014 (O’Connell & Ferone, 2016). The infection rate increased by 2.9% in 2018 from 526 cases to 539 cases per 100,000 people (O’Connell & Ferone, 2016). However, most incidences are not reported because multiple patients with chlamydia are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic and, therefore, do not go for testing.

The disease is common among young adults and adolescents aged between fifteen and twenty-four years. The CDC report shows that the rate of chlamydia among adolescents was 1,804 cases for every 100,000 people and 2,486 cases per 100,000 young adults in 2014 (O’Connell & Ferone, 2016). Two-thirds of new infections are reported among youths and teenagers every year, and it is approximated that every one of twenty sexually active girls has the disease (Haggerty et al., 2010). The prevalence of C. trachomatis is higher than other bacterial genital infections in the US because of repeat occurrences after single-dose therapy, and asymptomatic patients do not go for screening and treatment. Infections frequently occur in women and in men who have sex with other men (MSM).

Chlamydia is easily treatable using a short antibiotics course. The current treatment recommendation by CDC in non-pregnant patients is single-dose azithromycin or 7-day doxycycline. For pregnant women, azithromycin is the suggested first choice, followed by amoxicillin as the alternative (O’Connell, & Ferone, 2016). Ofloxacin and doxycycline are contraindicated in pregnancy and, therefore, should not be prescribed. In the case of PID, the treatment may also include additional ceftriaxone and cefoxitin for possible co-infection by other genital infection pathogens. Patients should not undertake any sexual activity until the treatment is complete. The one-day treatment course requires one to avoid having sex for seven days after taking the medication. However, treating chlamydia does not mean one has become immune to the infection, and, therefore, people should take necessary steps to avoid re-infection. Ways of preventing or reducing the risk of chlamydial disease include correct and consistent use of condoms, sticking to one sexual partner, frequent screening, and avoiding sexual contact until treatment is complete.

In summation, chlamydia is a commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in America that affects both men and women. The disease has a higher prevalence among young women and teenagers between fifteen and twenty-four. Treatment for chlamydial disorders involves single-dose or 7-day antibiotics, depending on the prescribing doctor and the patient’s condition. If untreated, chlamydia can result in other serious health complications, including PID in women and pain and swelling of the testicles in men. Therefore, people should consider undertaking frequent tests, having one sex partner, and using condoms consistently to prevent themselves from getting the disease. Besides, spouses of infected individuals should also be tested and treated to avoid re-infections.

References

Haggerty, C., Gottlieb, S., Taylor, B., Low, N., Xu, F., & Ness, R. (2010). Risk of sequelae after chlamydia trachomatis genital infection in women. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 201(2), S134–S155.

O’Connell, C., & Ferone, M. (2016). Chlamydia trachomatis genital infections. Microbial Cell, 3(9), 390–403. Web.

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