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THE Chlamydia genus belongs to the family Chlamydiaceae, in the order Chlamydiales, class Chlamydiia and the phylum Chlamydiae in the animal kingdom (Horn 2011). The genus Chlamydia and its species have undergone a number of significant name changes in recent years. Chlamydiales are an ancient phylogenetically isolated group of organisms that have undergone a reductive evolution, characterised by irreversible gene loss. Many Chlamydiales co-exist asymptomatically within specific hosts (Nunes and Gomes 2014), while a few are significant pathogens of humans and animals. The Chlamydiales have a complex biphasic life cycle that relies on a eukaryotic host cell for survival. The life cycle consists of metabolically inactive and infectious elementary bodies (EBs), and metabolically active vegetative reticulate bodies that undergo binary fission before reverting to EBs, which are expelled by the host cell (Bachmann and others 2014). The term ‘chlamydia’ may refer to …
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