Caister Academic Press

Animal Models of Chlamydia trachomatis Infection

Guangming Zhong, Alison Quayle, Ashok Aiyar and Tianyuan Zhang
from: Chlamydia Biology: From Genome to Disease (Edited by: Ming Tan, Johannes H. Hegemann and Christine Sütterlin). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2020) Pages: 459-482.


Chlamydia trachomatis causes infections in the eye, urogenital, respiratory and gastrointestinal mucosa. Chronic infection can lead to significant disease; ocular infection can result in trachoma, a leading cause of preventable blindness, and genital infection can lead to the serious sequelae of ectopic pregnancy and infertility. These pathological sequelae have been proposed to result from the induction of a sustained inflammatory response, but the precise pathogenic mechanisms that lead to these diseases are not yet fully understood. Chlamydial biologists have used in vitro approaches that rely on biochemistry and/or cell biology, in conjunction with recently developed genetic tools, to identify bacterial factors required for interactions with host cells. Although some of the putative chlamydial virulence factors identified in vitro have been shown to promote chlamydial pathogenicity in animal models, it remains to be determined if this information is relevant to pathogenic mechanisms operating in humans. Furthermore, many putative virulence factors have not been evaluated in optimal animal tissue microenvironments despite the fact that various animal models with chlamydial infections have been developed. Here we describe the pathogenesis of C. trachomatis infections in humans and the unique features of the currently used model systems so that the most appropriate models can be chosen for addressing different aspects of C. trachomatis pathogenesis and evaluating vaccine candidates read more ...
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