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Chlamydia Essay

1000 words - 4 pages

Chlamydia trachomatis is the most widespread and infamous bacterial infection affecting the genital tract. Not only is it quite common in developed countries but an increase in cases has sprung up in developing countries as well. In the United States, there is a 4 million per year case rate of chlamydia which costs the US approximately $2 billion dollars in consequences and treatments. Persons who suffer from chlamydia in underdeveloped countries and have no means of seeking treatment may become blind because chlamydia has the potential of causing trachoma. It is becoming a global interest to control and restrain this budding disease. In order to do so it is essential to recognize the symptoms of chlamydia, diagnose the victim, and provide treatment immediately.
     Observing symptoms of chlamydia is often a difficult process considering that 75% of females and 50% of males are asymptomatic; for those who are infected and do show symptoms, there are obvious signs directly connected to the chlamydia bacterium. In infected females, purulent discharge and a burning sensation while urinating are common indicators. The irregular discharge can be mistaken for normal vaginal discharge making this indicator slightly less conspicuous. These signs are caused by the bacterium’s concentration on the cervix and urethra and is classified as an acute endocervical infection. Other signs in the female are spotting between menstrual periods, fever, and severe back and abdominal pain. In males, burning sensation and discharge from the penis also occur. In addition, pain around the opening of the penis as well as soreness of the testicles can be observed. These symptoms occur from epididymitis. The contraction of chlamydia through anal penetration can lead to rectal discharge, bleeding, and pain. If symptoms appear the next stage is to verify that the symptoms are directly related to the chlamydia bacterium.
There are a number of methods in the process of diagnosing a potential case of the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. Classic methods of diagnosis have been centered on cell culture; the “culture era” began in the 1970s and proceeded into the late 1980s. Cell culture “was the inoculation of clinical material into animals, embryonated hens eggs or tissue culture cells and the demonstration of characteristic chlamydial inclusions.” Minor complications concerning cell culture arose: a significant amount of variables could affect the process and the costly charge of the assessment. In the attempt to avoid complications and further accuracy of diagnosis, more modern tests have been created. The Roche Amplicor PCR, polymerase chain reaction, was the first diagnostic test using nucleic acid amplification. This type of test “involves rapid thermal cycling in a specially programmed thermal cycler.” Test samples usually consist of urethral swabs for both men and women and cervical swabs for women. The second nucleic acid amplification test was...

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