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- The many serovars of C. trachomatis can generally be divided into the trachoma biovar (serovars A - K) causing genital tract disease, conjunctivitis, and trachoma (inflammation of inner eyelids) and the LGV biovar (serovars L1 - L3) causing lymphogranuloma venereum and proctocolitis.
- Obligate intracellular bacteria, infecting primarily ocular and genitourinary epithelium; one of the smallest known bacterial genomes.
- All Chlamydia species have 2 distinct forms in their infectious cycle: elementary body (EB - infectious, extracellular sporelike form) and reticulate body (RB - intracellular, replicating form).
- Requires cell culture for propagation.
- Immunity is not long-lived.