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: Scientists find method to probe genes of the most common bacterial STI

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 ...

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

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


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.