Conditions InDepth: Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a type of bacteria. There are several different species of chlamydia. A number of strains within each species are responsible for a variety of diseases in birds, humans, and other mammals. Their most common appearance is as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) referred to as chlamydia or nongonococcal urethritis (NGU).
Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the US, especially among sexually active teens and young adults. Prevalence is highest in people 25 years old and younger.
Chlamydia can lead to Reiter’s syndrome, which is a triad of arthritis, conjunctivitis, and urethritis. It can also cause neonatal infections such as pneumonia or conjunctivitis when passed from an infected mother. It can also cause infections in the throat or rectum through oral or anal intercourse.
Other types of chlamydia can cause:
- Another less common STD known as lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
- An eye infection called trachoma that causes millions of cases of blindness in developing nations around the world
- A lung and upper respiratory infection call psittacosis
Genital chlamydial infections are caused when Chlamydia trachomatis is transmitted during oral, vaginal, or anal sex from an infected partner.
Last reviewedMay 2013by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.