Chlamydia

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Chlamydia is a disease that is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. One of the virulence factors of this bacterium is its cell wall (7). Bacterial cell walls are extremely important in microbiology and can be important in treating diseases. There are two types of bacterial cell wall compositions and they can be distinguished as gram-positive or gram-negative (1). Chlamydia is gram-negative (3). The gram-negative and gram-positive staining procedure was invented to help categorize groups of cells. Gram-negative bacteria, when stained, develop to a pink color (1). Chlamydia and other gram-negative bacteria's cell walls consist of two layers, a thin peptidoglycan wall and a thick outer membrane. The outer membrane contains lipids bonded to polysaccharides and helps hold together the peptidoglycan layers (1). Bacteria that develops a purple stain is said to be gram-positive. Gram-positive bacterium's cell wall is very thick and consists of peptidoglycan layers. Outside of these layers, in either a gram-positive or gram-negative cell, a gelatinous layer, also known as the capsule, can exist. This layer helps protect various species of bacteria (4).

Chlamydia and other bacteria's genetic material lie in the cytoplasm in a single, circular DNA molecule. However, along with the single DNA molecule a small amount of genetic information may be present as plasmids. Plasmids are circular fragments of DNA that can replicate independently. Plasmids also have genes that enable them to have catabolic enzymes for genetic exchange or for resistance to antibodies (2).

Bacteria, including Chlamydia, are classified as prokaryotes. Prokaryote cells are less than one-thousandth of a small eukaryotic cell. Prokaryote cells do not have membrane bound organelles typical of eukaryote cells. This means prokaryote cells do not have nuclei, mitochondria, chloroplasts, endoplasmic reticulum, golgi bodies, or lysosome... Continue Reading