Microbiological analyses

Chlamydia pneumoniae

The Bacterium

Organisms of Chlamydia’s phylum must live inside eukaryotes’ cells. Therefore they are intracellular parasites. They don’t own any cellular part and the shell is made by an interne membrane, by a wall with rich proteins in cysteine and by an external membrane. The chlamydia has a dimorphic life circle: the elementary corpus (CE), small (200-300 nm), represents an infective form and it can survive in external environment, while the reticular corpus (CR) is bigger (600-1000 nm), it’s metabolically active and it represents a non-infective form. Chlamydia pneumonia was defined as a species in 1989, which belonged to the Chlamydia phylum. Some genus are defined as TWAR-Chlamydia and are classified in this new species (species nova).


Clinical manifestations

The spectrum of clinical manifestations can vary from pharyngitis, tonsillitis, cough and sinusitis to bronchitis and pneumonia. Moreover, even endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis and arthritis are possible complications. It was even described an association with bronchial asthma, pulmonary diseases, arteriosclerosis and coronary diseases. The infection normally appears softly in children and in teenager, more problems appear in old people or in immune- depressed patients.



Transmission occurs from person to person through breathing secretions. Every age is at risk, but in particular children at school age. Even reinfection seems to be frequent. Studies about serum prevalence show how the infection is worldwide very frequent, indeed the 40-50% of adults are antibody Chlamydophila pneumoniae’s carriers.



There is a lack of standardization of diagnostics tests. The highlight of the microorganism by means of culture is very difficult and it’s not used for diagnostic purposes. Serological diagnosis is based on the highlight of a significant increase of antibody between two sample taken serums during the severe phase and during the convalescence.The PCR based on the fragment PPstl allows to highlight specifically the Chlamydophila pneumonia.


Sample taking

Nasopharynx’s smear, phlegm, bronchial aspirated, pleural dotted, pulmonary biopsy, articular dotted, biopsy.

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