BACTERIA: CHLAMYDIA replication or life cycle picture

Picture of the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis in its free, transmissible, form and also growing and replicating in an inclusion intracellularly. Chlamydia can only reproduce inside host cells.

Chlamydia replication or life cycle: Chlamydia are Gram negative bacteria which are transmitted as tough, spherical spore-like elementary bodies. This strength is due to an hexagonally arrayed structure that lies just below the outer membrane (you can see the holes in this structure in this image). EBs have spikes (golden: TTS) that inject material into the host cells. Once in the cell, the EB expands and divides by binary fission. All this takes place inside a vacuole (inclusion) derived from the host cell membrane (the part of the cell surface that invaginated and surrounded the EB when it entered the cell). The vacuole expands and fills with new chlamydial particles. Eventually, the cell splits open and releases new elementary bodies. Chlamydia trachomatis is a major sexually transmitted disease and can go undetected causing infertility. It also causes the eye disease trachoma, which can lead to blindness. Chlamydia trachomatis can be sexually transmitted and can cause infertility if not detected and treated. It can also cause conjunctivitis, which can lead to blindness (trachoma).

Symptoms of Chlamydia: Symptoms of sexually acquired chlamydia are not always obvious which can lead to later problems such as infertility in women.

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