I am going to be tested for Chlamydia pneumoniae again in the next few weeks and have read a lot of questions about this bacteria across many Lyme forums, and knowledge is key so I figured I would do a little research about the topic.
Chlamydia pneumonia is an intracellular gram-negative bacterium that is recognized as causing respiratory illness. The bacteria is made up of an elementary body, which is the infectious particle, and the reticulate body which makes it able to replicate within cells and can also protect itself much like borrelia burgdorferi can.
It generally first effects the cell linings of your airways, then begins to spread throughout the body. This bacteria does not create its own energy, so it has to steal energy from other human cells, making your bodies other cells not work the way they should. One of chlamydia’s favorite places is cells that line blood vessels. When your body has inflammation, your body tries to heal itself by creating new blood vessels, and the bacteria likes to go for those cells.
Over time, it can infect other tissues in your body such as your nerves, muscles, heart, and your brain. With long term chronic infection, the bacteria can cause an immunosuppressive disorder and make you much more likely to develop other infections, such as Epsom-Barre and HHV-6.
There are three major forms of chlamydia. This particular form of chlamydia is the most common and is not a sexually transmitted disease, unlike another species of the bacteria, called chlamydia trachomatis. So, if you see chlamydia pneumoniae checked off on your bloodwork, your doctor is not insinuating that you have an STD. 🙂 What a relief, huh? The third, chlamydia psittaci, is caused by contact with a host, primarily birds, and can cause major illness.
Nearly one half to three quarters of people in their lifetime have had this infection at some point in their lives. The highest number of cases are generally between the ages of 5 and 15, most likely because it is school age kids. Chlamydia pneumoniae is spread by respiratory droplets or making direct contact. Researchers are beginning to study the connection between ticks and this bacteria, and some findings are that chlamydia pneumoniae can also be transmitted by ticks as research is beginning to show that certain types of ticks seem to be infecting cattle with the bacteria. Interesting.
Chlamydia pneumoniae is primarily known as causing respiratory illness, as well as classic “walking pneumonia”. Some people with a healthy immune system are able to fight off the bacteria completely, showing no symptoms at all. But, if you are reading this you probably are trying to learn more about chlamydia pneumoniae, you are probably wondering if any of your symptoms could correlate with having it.
What are some symptoms of having chlamydia pneumoniae? Persistant coughing, wheezing, headache, chronic fatigue, weakness, fibromyalgia-like pain, sore throat, nausea, malaise, fever, asthma, ear infections, altered mental status, skin disease, formation of plaque in the arteries and brain inflammation. Having chlamydia pneumoniae can also cause other infections such as bronchitis, laryngitis, even meningitis or left untreated.
How is Chlamydia pneumoniae diagnosed? Unfortunately, it can take a few weeks for it to show up on a blood test if you start to have symptoms. Unlike Mycoplasma, chlamydia pneumoniae tends to not show up on an x-ray. Blood tests can be done to detect antibodies, as well as swab testing of the nose and throat. In some cases physical examination can be used to diagnose based off of your symptoms, especially if it is early infection.
What are some of the treatments of Chlamydia pneumonia? Treatments luckily can overlap your Lyme and coinfection treatments. Some of the common treatments include tetracyclines, rifampin, azithromycin, erythromycin and Flagyl. Some natural treatments that are used include ligustrum seed, allicin, NAC, chaga mushrooms, samento, astragalus, as well as keeping up with rest, proper diet, and vitamins. Often, treatments are not given a long enough period of time, can hide under biofilms, or can become drug resistant (much like Lyme!), and it can be very hard to kill.
So there you have it! It is information to consider and may be something to discuss with your doctor as it could explain why you are not getting well. And as always, I am not a doctor. Please do not start any new medications or supplements unless under doctor supervision.
Sources: planetthrive.com, indiadivine.com, cpnhealth.com, chlamydia-pneumoniae.com, http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu, http://www.wikipedia.com,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, envita.com, healthychildren.org, rightdiagnosis.com, http://health.tipsdiscover.com/chlamydia-peumoniae-causes-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment-and-ongoing-care/#ixzz2vxl1oDXi