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Chlamydia trachomatis is a pathogenic microorganism that causes the Chlamydia infection in humans. The pathogen is a small bacterium capable of thriving in the human cell. Bacteria cells infect a single human cell and develop in stages into a colony, eventually destroying the cell. When the human cell bursts, it releases a large number of small infectious particles, which enter a new cell (Bavoil & Wyrick 2006, p.104). The infectious body then develops into a reticulate body, and later multiplies to numerous reticulate bodies. The pathogens are housed in a cytoplasmic inclusion inside the cell. The inclusion enlarges with time, sidelining the nucleus of the cell and other organelles. Pressure on the walls of the host cells increase with time, eventually disintegrating the wall and releasing the infectious element. The reproduction of the bacterium cell is through binary fission (Breguet 2007, p. 77). Moreover, the genus Chlamydia has a myriad of variations resulting in several strains. Most of the strains cause infection in the human body. When the Chlamydia pathogen is outside the host cell, it recesses into a state of dormancy such that cell division is not possible. The cell activates immediately after accessing the host cell and continues to destroy the cell. Thus, the active life of the Chlamydia pathogen happens inside the host cell (Engelkirk & Burton 2007, p. 45).
The pathogen also attacks the human sperm. The cell attaches itself on the human sperm and is easily transmitted to the female human during sexual intercourse. In addition, the bacteria cells destroy sperm cells, leading to low motility in males. Infertility is a possible danger in males. The bacteria cause varieties of diseases, the most common of which are infection of the reproductive system, trachoma of the eyes and conjunctivitis. The transmission of the strain of the bacteria that causes the disease is through poor hygiene. Another strain of the bacterium attacks the reproductive system of both women and men (Ma%u030Ardh et al. 2005, p. 52).
The problem of the Chlamydia cell is its ability to adapt to a dynamic environment. First, the environment of the host cell does not affect the cell. Once the infectious particle has gained entry into the host cell, the nucleotide of the infectious particle unfolds. The dormant DNA expands in preparation for replication. It is at this point that the newly formed cells form a membrane around an inclusion. When the parasitic bacteria are in the cytoplasm of the host cell, its physiological activities are adapted to the processes inside the cell. Within the cytoplasm inclusion, the physiological environment is not disturbed by the activities of the host cell. Temporary fluctuations of the host cell osmotic balance do not affect the state of the inside of the cytoplasm inclusion. This is because the inclusion’s membrane protects its contents from osmotic imbalance.
During the multiplication stage, the cell is pushed to the limit and the membrane of the host is burst. Prior to the breakage of the host cells’ membrane, the DNA of the bacteria fold up in preparation of the dormancy period. Observation of the physiological process of the cell indicates that the bacterium goes into a state of incomplete inactivity. Even in this state, the bacterium is indistinguishable from the cell bodies. This state is known as the non-replicating state. During this stage, the bacterium attacks the cell and enters the cytoplasm as an elementary body.
In the cytoplasm, the elementary body utilises the glycogen to start the process of replication. A reticulate form emerges from interaction with the cell. This form is primarily vegetative. The process of replication and exocytosis, which expels the elementary bodies from the host cell, takes twenty-one days to complete. The bacterium has a projection for releasing proteins into the host cell. This adaptation also enables the bacteria to utilise the lipid deposits in the host cell.
Although the bacterium is transmitted in different ways, sexual transmission is the most common mode of transmission. When the bacterium transmission is through sexual activity, the results of the infection are dangerous and often fatal. In the eyes, a disease known as trachoma develops a few days after infection. This ailment could lead to blindness of the patient. If the bacterium infects the lungs, a fatal type of pneumonia could develop (Friedman et al. 2004, p. 14). During delivery by an infected mother, the newborn child is exposed to the bacteria. It primarily affects the eyes of the child, leading to conjunctivitis. This is an emergency since delayed treatment of the infected baby results in complete blindness. In male patients, infection through sexual activity leads to inflammation of the urethra. Untreated infection by the Chlamydia eventually spreads to the vas deferens. Furthermore, the infection affects the patient’s sperm so that motility is considerably low. When observed under a powerful resolution, the sperm cell from a male patient with Chlamydia infection shows the elemental form of the bacteria attached to the membrane of the sperm cell. This renders the sperm cell incapable of fertilisation. In a short time, this could result in infertility of the patient. If the infection goes untreated for a considerable period, complications are likely to occur in males.
In women, the effect of infection by the Chlamydia is more serious. This is because the bacteria can go unnoticed for a long time due to the lack of symptoms in infected females. After a while, inflammation of the cervix, painful sexual intercourse and vaginal discharge are some of the most likely symptoms to appear. When the infection goes untreated for a long time, it causes complications during pregnancy. Inflammation of the uterus and the cervix usually results to abnormal discharge of vaginal fluids and blood (Parker & Parker 2002, p. 115).
Chlamydia is not a symbiotic organism. Although it lives in the host cell for some time, it does not benefit the host cell in any way. Its physiological processes inside the human cell cause interference with the cell activities. In addition, the host cell bursts and dies, when the cytoplasmic inclusion grows beyond the maximum size. This way, it fails to satisfy the requirement for a symbiotic relationship to exist. This is because the host cell does not get any benefit from hosting the bacteria. In a symbiotic relationship, both living things in the relationship are supposed to benefit.
On the other hand, the bacterium is not a commensal organism. Commensal organisms benefit from the host without causing any harm. The host is not affected by the existence of commensal organisms within them. In other words, one organism’s activities are neutrally relative to the other. The relationship between the Chlamydia and the host cell results in destruction of the host cell. Examination of the bacteria proves that it has a parasitic relationship with the host.
Use of protective measures during sexual intercourse can help prevent infection with Chlamydia bacteria. Exercising the basic hygiene could also prevent the occurrence of other Chlamydia infections such as infection to the eyes (Wilson 2006, p.89). The infection of babies during birth is avoided by practising good hygiene and identifying any signs of infection before birth. Detection of the infection in females is through analysis of the vaginal discharges. In males, urethral discharge helps to detect the bacteria. This helps medical personnel to treat the anticipated infection. Treatment of Chlamydia infections is by use of antibiotics (Sutton 2006, p. 5).