Chlamydia utilizes Trojan horse tactics to infect cells

A novel mechanism has been identified in which Chlamydia trachomatis tricks host cells into taking up the bacteria. Researchers from University of California San Francisco, led by Joanne Engel, report their findings in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens on October 6th.

Dr. Engel and colleagues show that Chlamydia coat themselves with a growth factor made by the cells of the organism they are infecting. This disguise allows the bacteria to infect cells, much like a Trojan horse. Once inside, Chlamydia induces the to churn out more of the growth factor. This production of excess growth factor enables more of bacteria to camouflage themselves and infect other cells creating a positive feedback loop which enhances bacterial infection and spread.

C. trachomatis is the leading cause of non-congenital blindness in developing countries and is the number one cause of sexually transmitted disease and non-congenital infertility in Western countries. Understanding the of the host-pathogen interactions of Chlamydia infections will lead assist in the development of novel therapeutics, diagnostics, and preventative strategies.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New Chlamydia test shows type of infection

May 24, 2011

A new Chlamydia test can quickly and easily demonstrate the subtype (serovar) of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis a person is infected with. This has important clinical implications, because some Chlamydia subtypes, that ...

Possible Chlamydia vaccine target found

Sep 12, 2007

U.S. scientists have identified a potential target for a vaccine to fight Chlamydia -- the world's most prevalent sexually transmitted bacterial infection.

Recommended for you

New hope for rare disease drug development

3 hours ago

Using combinations of well-known approved drugs has for the first time been shown to be potentially safe in treating a rare disease, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the open access Orphanet Journal of ...

Three weeks since last Ebola case in Mali: WHO

6 hours ago

Mali has not had a case of Ebola for three weeks, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, completing one of the two incubation periods the country needs to be declared free of the virus.

Migraine may double risk for facial paralysis

6 hours ago

Migraine headache may double the risk of a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, called Bell's palsy, according to a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journa ...

Anti-diabetic drug springs new hope for tuberculosis patients

13 hours ago

A more effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB) could soon be available as scientists have discovered that Metformin (MET), a drug for treating diabetes, can also be used to boost the efficacy of TB medication without inducing ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.