As soon as we see the word Chlamydia we naturally think of a sexually transmitted disease, but Chlamydia pneumoniae has nothing to do with STDs. You may not have heard much about this common bacterium that is an obscure pathogen. Some of the world’s leading infectious disease specialists and microbiologists suspect that C. pneumoniae may be involved in some of the most baffling chronic diseases of our time, including ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia.
There has been mounting evidence that suggests that C. pneumoniae may be a major villain in heart disease. Spread through coughs and sneezes, the bacterium causes a flu-like respiratory condition that sometimes progresses to pneumonia and perhaps other illnesses.
“The question is,” says Charles Stratton, M.D., director of the microbiology laboratory at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, “has chlamydia pneumoniae causes just a respiratory tract infection, or has it also contributed to other problems such as atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome or even Gulf War syndrome?”
- Approximately 50% of the population has evidence of reaction by age 20.
- All ages are at risk but most common in school-age children.
- Reinfection throughout life appears to be common.
What Causes Chlamydia Pneumoniae?
- The bacterium was recognized in 1983 as a respiratory pathogen, after isolation from a college student with pharyngitis (sore throat).
What Are the Symptoms of C. Pneumoniae?
- Gradual onset of cough
- Mild fever or no fever
- Laryngitis (hoarseness)
Can Anyone Else Get C. Pneumoniae?
- Person-to-person transmission is via respiratory secretions. With reinfection as is seen in ME/CFS & FM, it is far less likely to be contagious. Each year an estimated 50,000 adults are hospitalized with pneumonia in the U.S. The overall incidence is unknown. Associations with Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, and reactive arthritis have been proposed.