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J Proteomics. 2014 Aug 28;108:99-109. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2014.05.009. Epub 2014 May 24.

Whole genome identification of C. trachomatis immunodominant antigens after genital tract infections and effect of antibiotic treatment of pigtailed macaques.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington, Box 356460, Seattle, WA 98195-6460, United States.
  • 2ImmPORT Therapeutics, Inc./Antigen Discovery Inc., 1 Technology Dr., Suite E309, Irvine, CA 92618, United States.
  • 3Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical Sciences I, Room D440, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-4800, United States. Electronic address:


The cervix and/or fallopian tubes of pigtailed macaques were experimentally infected with Chlamydia trachomatis. Their sera were collected at varying time points and screened for identification of immunodominant antigens using a whole-genome protein microarray. The effect of doxycycline treatment on the antibody response generated in these macaques was also investigated. Twenty-five female macaques were infected with C. trachomatis serovars D or E in the cervix and/or fallopian tubes. Bloods were collected at baseline and at various intervals after challenge. Serum samples were tested for antibodies using a C. trachomatis serovar D protein microarray. Twenty chlamydial antigens reacted with sera from at least 68% (17/25) of the macaques. In addition to some well-known chlamydial antigens, nine different proteins, not previously recognized as immunodominant, including four hypothetical proteins (CT005, CT066, CT360 and CT578), were identified. Monkeys infected in the fallopian tubes developed a more robust antibody response than animals inoculated in the cervix. Treatment with doxycycline significantly decreased Chlamydia-specific antibody levels. In summary, using protein microarray serum samples from experimentally infected pigtailed macaques were screened for immunodominant chlamydial antigens. These antigens can now be tested in animal models for their ability to protect and as markers of disease progression.


This is the first time that Chlamydia trachomatis immunodominant antigens have been identified in pigtailed macaques following a uterine cervix or a fallopian tubes infection. These immunodominant antigens can now be used to vaccinate non-human primates and determine their ability to protect against a C. trachomatis genital infection. Proteins that are protective can subsequently be tested in humans. Amongst the immunodominant antigens some were predominantly recognized by sera from macaques inoculated in the fallopian tubes rather than in the cervix and therefore, may be markers for upper genital tract pathology. In addition, treatment with doxycycline following infection significantly decreased Chlamydia-specific antibody levels. This information can be used to evaluate the efficacy of antibiotic treatment and potentially susceptibility to reinfection.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Antibiotics; Antibody response; Chlamydia trachomatis; Macaca nemestrina; Pigtailed macaques; Protein microarrays

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