Updated: 10/20/2015

Introduction to Chlamydia and Rickettsia

Review Topic
  • Chlamydia and Rickettsia are 2 groups of Gram-negative bacteria
  • Both bacteria are
    • obligate intracellular parasites
      • they must steal host ATP to live
        • Chlamydia cannot make any ATP whatsoever
        • Rickettsia can make some (but not enough)
      • they cannot be cultured on non-living artificial media
        • instead, they are innoculated into living cells for culture
    • about the size of large viruses (i.e. quite small)
      • however, they are not viruses because they
        • have both DNA and RNA
          • viruses have only one or the other
        • synthesize their own proteins
        • are sensitive to antibiotics
  • Important differences between the 2 groups include
      Chlamydia Rickettsia
    Transmission Person-to-person Arthropod vector
    Site of replication Endosomes Cytoplasm
    Type of cell attacked Columnar epithelium Endothelium

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