Definition: A family of the order Chlamydiales (formerly included in the order Rickettsiales) that includes the agents of the psittacosis-lymphogranuloma-trachoma group. The family contains small, coccoid, gram-negative bacteria that resemble rickettsiae but that differ from them significantly by possessing a unique, obligately intracellular developmental cycle; intracytoplasmic microcolonies give rise to infectious forms by division. The classification of these organisms previously was in a state of flux, but they are now placed in a single genus, Chlamydia, the type genus of the family.
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