The truth about chlamydia
Truly the stuff of nightmares, this prehistoric organism has some of its DNA in common with the plant kingdom and is an extraordinarily innovative survivor.
After penetrating the cell membrane, the bacteria replicates within a protective envelope, shielded from the cell's normal defence mechanisms.
Eventually, the growing volume of foreign material kills the host cell, but as it disintegrates, infective particles explode out in all directions. They are then free to infect other cells of the host organism, or alternatively, the cells of any sexual partner who comes in contact with them.
Genital chlamydia is clinically silent in about 90% of carriers. As a result, it remains the most frequently reported STI in Australia.
In 2012, almost 83,000 new cases were notified to public health authorities, although some experts suggest that the true annual infection rate is probably about