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While there is no vaccine to prevent Chlamydia pneumoniae infection, there are things you can do to protect yourself and others.


Like many respiratory diseases, C. pneumoniae infection is spread by coughing and sneezing. The best way to keep from getting or spreading the bacteria is to wash your hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. To practice good hygiene, you should:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
  • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you don’t have a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.

Previous Infections

If you get sick from C. pneumoniae, you may still get sick from it again in the future. Life-long immunity to C. pneumoniae likely does not occur.

Preventive Antibiotics for Close Contacts

Antibiotics (medicines that kill bacteria in the body) to prevent C. pneumoniae infection are not usually recommended for people who are close contacts, including household members, of someone who is sick with C. pneumoniae infection. Preventive antibiotics might be recommended if an exposed person is at increased risk for developing serious complications if they get sick (this is best determined by your doctor).

Antibiotics should not be used unless they are absolutely necessary. Not only can they cause harmful side effects, but every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria (bacteria that antibiotics can still attack) are killed, but resistant bacteria are left to grow and multiply. Repeated use of antibiotics can increase the number of drug-resistant bacteria. Learn more about the potential danger of antibiotic resistance, and what you can do to prevent it at CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work website.