Slideshows Images Quizzes

Copyright © 2018 by RxList Inc. RxList does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

Definition of Chlamydia trachomatis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Chlamydia trachomatis: A bacterium that causes a disease called trachoma that results in blindness so frequently that it places a huge burden a year on world health funding ($25 billion in the year 2000). The disease goes by a number of names such as sandy blight.

The transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis is mainly among children and from children to women during child care. Key risk factors include low socioeconomic status and inadequate supplies of water.

Trachoma affects approximately 500 million people worldwide, primarily in rural communities of the developing world and in the arid areas of tropical and subtropical zones. About 6-9 million people worldwide are currently blind and many more have suffered partial loss of vision from trachoma. Australia is the only developed country where trachoma is still a significant health problem; there it affects an estimated 100,000 people.

The mass treatment of trachoma with tetracycline ointment is effective in the short term, but the disease usually returns within 6-12 months to pretreatment levels in a community. Trachoma can now also be treated with the antibiotic azithromycin (brand name: Zithromax). Promotion of increased face-washing helps further to control the disease. Surgery of the scarred eyelids can prevent continued damage to the cornea by turned-in lashes.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors