Molecular testing for Chlamydia pneumoniae is used for the rapid and highly accurate laboratory diagnosis of atypical pneumonia and other infections caused by these microorganisms.
Members of the Chlamydiaceae family are small, non-motile, Gram-negative, obligate intracellular organisms that grow in the host cell cytoplasm. Two genera of chlamydia are of clinical importance for humans, the genus Chlamydia which includes the species Chlamydia trachomatis, and the genus Chlamydophila which includes the species Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydophila psittaci. These organisms have many features in common with microbes and are susceptible to antibiotic treatment and also resemble viruses, requiring living cells to proliferate.
The life cycle of chlamydia can be divided into two distinct phases: an extracellular phase, in which they do not proliferate and are infectious, and a mandatory intracellular phase, during which they multiply and are non-infectious. The infectious forms, or elementary bodies, adheres to the cell membrane and enter the cell through a phagosome. Upon entry into the cells, the elementary bodies are reorganized into reticulate bodies (forming inclusions) and their proliferation begins. After 18 to 24 hours, the reticulate bodies condense to form elementary bodies. These new elementary bodies are released, starting a new cycle of infection.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae (formerly known as Chlamydia pneumoniae) causes respiratory infections with a mild course. Chlamydia pneumoniae are pathogens exclusive to humans and are transmitted by droplets. They can cause a flu-like syndrome, sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and atypical pneumonia. Clinically, asymptomatic infections are common. Respiratory infections are probably the most common of all chlamydial infections. Chlamydophila pneumoniae is responsible for about 10% of pneumonia cases.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.