Caister Academic Press

Chlamydia pneumoniae Infections

Lee Ann Campbell and David Hahn
from: Chlamydia Biology: From Genome to Disease (Edited by: Ming Tan, Johannes H. Hegemann and Christine Sütterlin). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2020) Pages: 31-58.


Chlamydia pneumoniae is an obligate intracellular Chlamydia organism that is an established cause of human acute upper and lower respiratory conditions, primarily bronchitis and pneumonia. Seroepidemiological studies indicate that the majority of individuals worldwide have been infected by the time adulthood is reached, and that reinfection and/or chronic infection is common. The majority of acute infections are asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic below the threshold that medical care is sought. The known propensity for other Chlamydia species to cause chronic infection associated with chronic immunopathologic diseases early on raised the question of whether chronic C. pneumoniae infection, either ongoing or 'hit and run', could be causally associated with a number of chronic inflammatory diseases of unknown etiology. Indeed, increasingly robust evidence implicates chronic C. pneumoniae infection as a potentially causal factor in chronic respiratory diseases (asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive respiratory disease) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, and lung cancers, among others. This chapter reviews historical aspects of the discovery of C. pneumoniae, its role in acute respiratory illnesses, and emerging evidence for the role of C. pneumoniae in the pathogenesis of selected chronic respiratory and vascular diseases
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