gt;gt; Rachel Gorwitz: Hello,I am Rachel Gorwitz, Medical Officer in the Divisionof STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention. Although most Chlamydia casesreported are among teens and young adults, any sexuallyactive person can get this sexually transmitteddisease or STD. In fact, CDC estimates thereare nearly 3 million new cases of Chlamydia each year.
People get Chlamydia byhaving vaginal, anal, or oral sex withsomeone who has this STD. Most people withChlamydia have no symptoms which is why the infectionoften goes undiagnosed. If symptoms occur, theymay not appear until weeks after having sex withsomeone who is infected. Women with Chlamydia may havean abnormal vaginal discharge or burning sensationwhen urinating.
Men with Chlamydia may havea discharge from the penis or a burning sensationwhen urinating. Even when a chlamydial infectiondoes not cause symptoms, if left untreated it can go on to cause pelvic inflammatorydisease, chronic pelvic pain or make it difficultor impossible for a woman to get pregnant. CDC recommends thatsexually active women
under age 26 be testedfor Chlamydia every year. It is important forboth men and women to discuss their sexualhistory with their physician to determine if they shouldbe tested for Chlamydia. Chlamydia can be cured easilywith antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider. Even after treatment thougha person can be reinfected if they have sex withsomeone who has Chlamydia.
So it's important that sexpartners are also treated. Learn more about Chlamydia andother STDs at cdc.govSTD.
Pathophysiology of chlamydia
Pathophysiologyis the study of how a disease occurs. And so if we're talkingabout the pathophysiology of chlamydia, we're talking about how this bacterial organism hijacksthe cells of our body to multiply and cause an infection. Now the unique thingabout chlamydia is that it's not a very powerful organism that
carries a lot of its own nutrients. It relies on the nutrients ofthe host cell that it infects. Which means that chlamydiamust live inside of the host cell in order to reproduce and survive. So the way I'm gonna startoff designating chlamydia will be in green. So this initial green dotright here actually has a very fancy name.
This is referred to as an elementary body. An elementary body. Which is just a fancy way of saying it looks like a dot. So the first step ofchlamydia infecting our body is that it needs to somehow enter a cell. And the way that works isbecause of our white blood cells. So I'll draw this guy right here,
make him look rather ferocious with these red teeth right here. Now this white blood cell is similar to most cells in our bodyin that it has a nucleus. So I'll draw this nucleus up here. And this is where all thegenetic information for the cell on how to survive andmake proteins is stored. So when a white blood cellsees this elementary body,
this unusual particle thatshouldn't exist in our body, it wants to eat it. And this process by whichthis white blood cell swallows the elementary body, orany foreign particle, is referred to as phagocytosis. Phagocytosis. Where if you've heard thisterm before you might recognize that cyt just means cell and phago
is just a fancy way of saying to eat. So this cell is eatingthis elementary body. And after a nice big gulp, you'll see that the elementary body is nowcontained within this vesicle. We can also refer to it as a phagosome. A phagosome. Some just means a bodythat has been eaten, phago. And I just want to point out,