Chlamydia – chlamydia trachomatis, is the most frequent bacterial sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia is characterised by life inside of the cells of genital and oral mucous membranes which is why the immune response of the host is very mild. The bacteria is protected with our own cells which is why the white blood cells have a hard time recognizing it as a foreign body. This is why the symptoms of a new chlamydia infection are most often mild and are characterised with a somewhat increased secretion from urethra or vagina, which is most often transparent or slightly whitish in appearance and without any smell.
In women the chlamydia infection can trigger spotty bleeding between the cycles or after sex. In 10% of the patients the infection is followed by pain in the pelvis and in testicles with men. Considering that chlamydia doesn’t produce intense symptoms it can be undiagnosed for years which can cause permanent consequences. Chlamydia infection is one of the most common causes of sterility or extrauterine pregnancies in women. Over the years, the subtle inflammatory process causes the fallopian tubes to thicken which makes them impassable for the egg cell. Complications caused by chlamydia across the entire organism consist from the inflammation of conjunctiva, wrists and skin.
To diagnose chlamydia, a deep urethral cell smear is taken in men, and a cervix smear in women. The bacteria can be cultivated but the most reliable test is the direct fluorescence test from the secretion content. The smallest traces of bacteria can be diagnosed with the PCR method from urine.
Early infection can be easily cured with antibiotics. Due to resistant strains two antibiotics are usually combined and the therapy lasts for two weeks. Both partners must be treated and they must avoid unprotected sex during the therapy.
Unspecified urethritis caused by Chlamydia
The cause of this disease is the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria serotype D and E. More than half of the unspecified types of urethritis are caused by chlamydia, and chlamydia genital infections are one of the most frequent sexually transmitted diseases of today. The disease is spread by sexual contact, although perinatal transference is possible.
The incubation lasts from 1 to 3 weeks. The characteristic of all unspecified types of urethritis is a mild clinical picture which is exhibited by serous or slimy secretion, which is very often sparingly present, and appears only in the morning. A suspicious symptom is a burning sensation when urinating.
In women, the cervix is also affected, and even in the asymptotic forms there is always an inflammatory reaction of the cervix.
Mild expression of the symptoms can lead to complications such as the inflammation of the pelvis, which can cause extrauterine pregnancy and sterility. With the ongoing inflammatory process due to bacterial infection with chlamydia, the fallopian tubes thicken and become impassable for the egg cell, which leads to the obturation of the oviduct.
The diagnosis is given based on the anamnesis, the clinical picture, but laboratory diagnostics is also necessary. Chlamydia trachomatis can be proven by isolation, cultivation and the immunofluorescent technique.
Unspecified urethritis caused by mycoplasmas
The causes of this urethritis are bacteria Mycoplasma hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum.
The incubation period lasts about 10 days in average but can last for up to 6 weeks.
Today, these bacteria are considered to be opportunistic and their treatment is required if there are symptoms. Other strains of mycoplasma are considered to cause diseases and are always treatable but are very hard to detect in our country. Therapy is administered by antibiotics.
Spec. Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatologist
Dermatological clinic DERMATIM, Belgrade – Serbia