What is the life cycle of chlamydiae?

Updated: Sep 25, 2018
  • Author: Shahab Qureshi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Chlamydiae have a unique biphasic life cycle that is adaptable to both intracellular and extracellular environments. In the extracellular milieu, the so-called elementary body (EB) is found. EBs are metabolically inactive infectious particles; functionally, they are spore-type structures. Once inside a susceptible host cell, the EB prevents phagosome-lysozyme fusion and then undergoes reorganization to form a reticulate body (RB).

The RB synthesizes its own DNA, RNA, and proteins but requires energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from the host cell. After a sufficient amount of RBs have formed, some transform back into EBs, exiting the cell to infect others.


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