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Clin Immunol. 2002 Jan;102(1):28-36.

Chlamydia trachomatis infection inhibits airway eosinophilic inflammation induced by ragweed.

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  • 1Immune Regulation of Allergy Research Group, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0W3, Canada.


While much progress has been achieved in controlling infectious diseases, there is a startling increase in the prevalence of allergic disorders in developed countries. Previous studies using experimental murine models of asthma have demonstrated that mycobacterial infections are capable of suppressing asthma-like reactions induced by ovalbumin (OVA). Using a different intracellular bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn), we examined the effect of infection on the development of allergic responses to a common natural airborne allergen, ragweed (RW). The data showed that airway eosinophilia induced by ragweed sensitization/challenge was significantly reduced in MoPn-infected mice. MoPn-infected mice also exhibited significantly lower levels of allergen-driven Th2 cytokine production, namely IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13, following ragweed exposure in comparison with those treated with ragweed only. Additionally, the production of eotaxin, a C-C chemokine for eosinophil chemoattraction following RW exposure, was significantly reduced in the lungs of MoPn-infected mice. However, MoPn infection did not reduce the levels of RW-specific IgE and IgG1 production in the sera, nor did it diminish the level of total serum IgE. These data provide evidence that the suppression of the allergic airway inflammation induced by a common environmental allergen is attainable through intracellular bacterial infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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