Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is routinely treated with antibiotics, although the mild form of disease is usually self-limiting. The disease is treated on a case-by-case basis, with macrolides (azithromycin) used as first-line therapy. Tetracycline antibiotics (tetracycline and doxycycline) are also used to treat C. pneumoniae respiratory infections; these antibiotics are available for oral administration. However, tetracyclines are not considered acceptable for young children under normal circumstances. C. pneumoniae shows in vitro resistance to penicillin, ampicillin, and sulfa drugs, which are not recommended for treatment.
Symptoms of C. pneumoniae infection can reappear after a short or conventional course of antibiotics, and persistent infection after treatment has been culture-proven on cell-free culture media; therefore, a secondary course of treatment may be recommended. After gradual onset, symptoms due to C. pneumoniae respiratory infection may continue over extended periods, with persistence of cough and malaise for several weeks or months despite appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) Treatment Guidelines
- IDSA and ATS Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Adults, 2007[46 pages]
- PIDS and IDSA Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Infants and Children Older Than 3 Months of Age, 2011[52 pages]
- Blasi F, Tarsia P, Aliberti S. Chlamydophila pneumoniae. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009;15:29–35.
- Burillo A, Bouza E. Chlamydophila pneumoniae. Infect Dis Clin N Am. 2010;24:61–71.
- Cunha BA. The atypical pneumonias: Clinical diagnosis and importance. Clin Microbio Infect. 2006;12:12–24.
- Page last reviewed: September 26, 2016
- Page last updated: September 26, 2016
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