Chlamydia infection (from the Greek, χλαμύδα meaning "cloak") is a common sexually transmitted infection in humans caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The term Chlamydia infection can also refer to infection caused by any species belonging to the bacterial family Chlamydiaceae. C. trachomatis is found only in humans. Chlamydia is a major infectious cause of human genital and eye disease. Chlamydia infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide; it is estimated that about 1 million individuals in the United States are infected with chlamydia.
C. trachomatis is naturally found living only inside human cells. Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Between half and three-quarters of all women who have a chlamydia infection of the cervix (cervicitis) have no symptoms and do not know that they are infected. In men, infection of the urethra (urethritis) is usually symptomatic, causing a white discharge from the penis with or without pain on urinating (dysuria). Occasionally, the condition spreads to the upper genital tract in women (causing pelvic inflammatory disease) or to the epididymis in men (causing epididymitis). Chlamydia infection can be effectively cured with antibiotics. If left untreated, chlamydial infections can cause serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences.
Infection is the invasion of a host organism's bodily tissues by disease-causing organisms, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to these organisms and the toxins they produce. Infectious diseases, also known as transmissible diseases or communicable diseases, comprise clinically evident illness (i.e., characteristic medical signs and/or symptoms of disease) resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism.
Infections are caused by infectious agents such as viruses, viroids, and prions, microorganisms such as bacteria, nematodes such as roundworms and pinworms, arthropods such as ticks, mites, fleas, and lice, fungi such as ringworm, and other macroparasites such as tapeworms.