Chlamydia trachomatis

Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of three bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia, family Chlamydiaceae, class Chlamydiae, phylum Chlamydiae, domain Bacteria. C. trachomatis cannot be stained with the Gram stain (it is Gram negative).

C. trachomatis was the first chlamydial agent discovered in humans. It was identified in 1907.

It comprises three human biovars: Urethritis (serovars D-K), trachoma (serovars A, B, Ba or C) and lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV, serovars L1, 2 and 3)).

Many, but not all, C. trachomatis strains have an extrachromosomal plasmid.

Clinical significance

It has only been found living inside the cells of humans, causing the following conditions:

In men

In women

In both sexes

C. trachomatis has also been detected in some patients with temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ).

It may be treated with any of several antibiotics: azithromycin, erythromycin or doxycycline/tetracycline.


Chlamydia species are readily identified and distinguished from other chlamydial species using DNA-based tests.

Most strains of C. trachomatis are recognized by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to epitopes in the VS4 region of MOMP. However, these mAbs may also crossreact with the other two Chlamydia species, Chlamydia suis and Chlamydia muridarum.


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