Chlamydophila pneumoniae

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2010 Mar;24(1):61-71. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2009.10.002.


Chlamydophila pneumoniae is estimated to cause about 10% of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) cases and 5% of bronchitis cases, although most patients with C pneumoniae infection are asymptomatic, and the course of respiratory illness is relatively mild. The incubation period of C pneumoniae infection is around 21 days, and such symptoms as cough and malaise show a gradual onset, yet may persist for several weeks or months despite appropriate antibiotic therapy. Diagnosis by nasopharyngeal specimen culture, serum antibody titers, or molecular techniques is usually delayed with respect to the onset of symptoms, antibiotic treatment, or disease resolution and there is no accurate, standardized, commercial US Food and Drug Administration-cleared diagnostic method available. Erythromycin, tetracycline, and doxycycline are used as first-line therapy, although some investigators report no clinical or survival benefits from treating CAP caused by atypical pathogens. Meanwhile, adequate prospective studies have met with ethical and logistic barriers. Despite these limitations, North American guidelines recommend the antimicrobial treatment of patients with acute C pneumoniae respiratory infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Chlamydophila Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydophila Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydophila Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydophila Infections / therapy*
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / isolation & purification*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / etiology*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / therapy*
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Bacterial