Role of T Lymphocytes in the Pathogenesis ofChlamydiaDisease

In initial studies to verify this hypothesis, we demonstrated that multiple genital infections or pre-exposure to live chlamydiae by the intranasal route may increase the incidence of infertility on subsequent genital infection

Joseph U. Igietseme; Qing He; Kahaliah Joseph; Francis O. Eko; Deborah Lyn; Godwin Ananaba; Angela Campbell; Claudiu Bandea; Carolyn M. Black


Scholarcy highlights

  • Genital infection by the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease worldwide and a major public health concern
  • We verified that infection-induced immunity could not protect against hydrosalpinx and infertility and that T cell–mediated immune responses, especially those mediated by the CD8 T cell subset, are major contributors to pathology
  • Our initial experiments confirmed findings of other studies showing that immunity developed after an infection and that certain experimental vaccine regimens produced significant levels of protective immunity
  • As established elsewhere for other protective experimental vaccine regimens, including the IL-10KO dendritic cell–based vaccine, the protective immunity conferred by Fc-MOMP was correlated with a relatively high frequency of Chlamydia-specific Th1 cells in the genital mucosa and associated with the ability of mucosal Fc receptor-positive dendritic cells to internalize Fc-MOMP rapidly via the FcRs and with up-regulation of key costimulatory molecules, such as CD40, CD197, and major histocompatibility complex class II antigens
  • There is increasing evidence that chlamydial disease has an immunopathogenic basis, with both acute and chronic inflammatory responses implicated in the pathologic process leading to tubal scarring, which culminates in infertility
  • Other than measurement of nonspecific inflammatory responses, no studies to date have investigated the role of specific immune effectors, including the Th17 pathway, in the pathogenesis of the infection sequelae
  • The involvement of specific T cells in protective immunity and in the pathogenesis of chlamydial disease, along with the apparent paradoxical coexistence of protective and immunopathogenic immune responses, support the suggestion that C. trachomatis harbors protective and immunopathogenic antigens

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