Chlamydia utilizes Trojan horse tactics to infect cells

October 6, 2011

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.

Explore further: Surprising find helps explain why women get chronic chlamydia infections

Related Stories

Newly designed molecule blocks chlamydia bacteria

July 20, 2011

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have discovered a way to block the damaging actions of Chlamydia, the bacteria responsible for the largest number of sexually transmitted infections in the United States.

Recommended for you

Bile acid uptake inhibitor prevents NASH / fatty liver in mice

September 21, 2016

Drugs that interfere with bile acid recycling can prevent several aspects of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) in mice fed a high-fat diet, scientists from Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of ...

New therapeutic target for Crohn's disease

September 20, 2016

Research from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) identifies a promising new target for future drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, published today in Cell Reports, also indicates ...

Mosquitoes, Zika and biotech regulation

September 19, 2016

In a new Policy Forum article in Science, NC State professor Jennifer Kuzma argues that federal authorities are missing an opportunity to revise outdated regulatory processes not fit for modern innovations in biotechnology, ...

0 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.