Introduction [chapter]

Carolyn M. Black
2013 Issues in Infectious Diseases  
Despite our knowing of it for centuries, chlamydial infection remains one of the most common bacterial infectious diseases in the world and its agent, Chlamydia trachomatis, is one of the most enigmatic pathogens known to medical science. This book was written to fill a dearth of books that are aimed at medical scientists and clinical practitioners who wish to delve more deeply into the clinical and public health aspects of chlamydial infection. The authors, all of whom are internationally
more » ... nized experts in this field, have provided information that is based on the latest research available at the time, in many cases including a summary of results of their own work. The book is structured in a logical fashion that begins with a description of the public health burden and epidemiology of chlamydial infections, moves through an overview of the biology and genomics of chlamydiae as they relate to the clinical spectrum and pathogenesis of infection, then reviews the topics of the immunological response, diagnosis and treatment, and finally addresses prevention with the status of current vaccine development research. We have also included a few sections on rarely presented information covering topics and populations of special interest to clinical and public health practitioners: pregnant mothers and their babies, outbreaks of a less common, invasive and systemic type of chlamydial infection known as lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV, and chlamydial infections in men who have sex with men, gay and lesbian populations. The aim of this book is to cover clinical and public health aspects of sexually transmitted genital infections caused by C. trachomatis in humans and we have not attempted to cover infections caused by any other chlamydial species nor chlamydial diseases of the eye (trachoma) or respiratory tract, which have been richly described elsewhere in the literature. To provide a backdrop for the main content of the book and for those who may be less indoctrinated in the field, the following is a short introduction on the history, biology and clinical spectrum of infections caused by C. trachomatis. Also, as a reference aid, it may be helpful to make note of some of the terminology used in the
doi:10.1159/000348748 fatcat:qcifn34pjvaolcq2sz45mqqoce