Risk Factors for Chlamydia
A risk factor is something that increases your chances of getting a disease or condition. Each of the multiple kinds of chlamydial infection has a different set of risk factors and can be considered a separate disease entity.
Sexually transmitted chlamydial infections are transferred from one person to another by direct contact with genital tissues. Chlamydia is highly contagious and one of the most common sexually transmitted disease.
Risk Factors for Chlamydial STDs
- Age: 15-25 years old
- Chlamydia trachomatis is more common in females.
- Lymphogranoloma venereum (LGV) is six times more common in males. LGV is another sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the chlamydia bacteria.
- Multiple sex partners
- Having sex without a condom
- History of ]]>sexually transmitted diseases]]>
Risk Factors for Neonatal Chlamydia
Neonatal chlamydia is the same organism transmitted during childbirth from an infected mother to her baby. It accounts for 30%-50% of ]]>newborn conjunctivitis]]> and is so common that every newborn in the US is treated to prevent it. Infants born to infected mothers are at risk of developing chlamydial conjunctivitis (in 25% of cases) and chlamydial pneumonia (in 16% of cases).
Risk Factors for Respiratory Chlamydia
Chlamydia bacteria that infect the respiratory system are a different species and enter the body when they are inhaled. These germs in spore form are wafted into the air from infected birds. The risk is limited to those in contact with infected birds. The organisms which cause respiratory chlamydia are related to, but different from, the chlamydia organism which causes sexually transmitted disease. You cannot get any kind of sexually transmitted disease from contact with birds.
Risk factors for respiratory chlamydia include contact with birds, especially psittacines (parrots, parakeets, budgies), but also barnyard birds (ducks, chickens, and turkeys), pigeons, and most other kinds.
Risk factors for Ocular Chlamydia
Trachoma is yet another chlamydial infection by a different strain of this group of germs. Trachoma causes ocular chlamydia. The germ is carried from one person to another by direct contact or by intermediate objects known as fomites.
The risk of acquiring trachoma is high in endemic areas such as Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, and especially for children. Risk factors include:
- Flies in developing countries, also objects that can transmit germs—such as towels, washcloths, and fingers
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Psittacosis. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website. Available at: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/psittacosis.html . Accessed September 18, 2008.
Canadian Paediatric Society. Recommendations for the prevention of neonatal ophthalmia. Canadian Paediatric Society website. Available at: http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/ID/ID02-03.htm . Updated March 2008. Accessed September 18, 2008.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Psittacosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/psittacosis_t.htm . Published October 2005. Accessed September 18, 2008.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases: chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm . Accessed September 18, 2008.
International Trachoma Initiative website. Available at: http://www.trachoma.org/ . Accessed September 18, 2008.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Chlamydia. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/chlamydia/ . Accessed September 18, 2008.
National Women's Health Organization. Chlamydia. National Women's Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.4women.gov/faq/stdchlam.htm . Updated May 2005. Accessed September 18, 2008.
Last reviewed September 2010 by ]]>Lawrence Frisch, MD, MPH]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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