The recognition of genital chlamydial infection as an important public health problem was made first by the recognition of its role in acute clinical syndromes, as well as in serious reproductive and ocular complications, and secondly by our awareness of its prevalence when diagnostic tests became widely accessible. The recent availability of effective single dose oral antimicrobial therapy and sensitive molecular amplification tests that allow the use of noninvasive specimens for diagnosis and screening is expected to have a major impact in reducing the prevalence of disease in the next decade. Clinical manifestations associated with Chlamydia pneumoniae infection continue to emerge beyond respiratory illness. In particular, its association with atherosclerosis deserves further investigation. Chlamydia pecorum, a pathogen of ruminants, was recently recognized as a new species. The continued application of molecular techniques will likely elucidate an expanding role for chlamydiae in human and animal diseases, delineate the phylogenetic relationships among chlamydial species and within the eubacteria domain, and provide tools for detection and control of chlamydial infections.