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Am J Pathol. 1992 Apr;140(4):927-36.

Pathogenesis of endometritis and salpingitis in a guinea pig model of chlamydial genital infection.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


The development of tubal obstruction and subsequent infertility is a major sequelum of upper genital tract infection with Chlamydia trachomatis; however, little is known about the pathogenesis of the infection. In this investigation, the authors present a detailed study of the progression of ascending chlamydial infection in female guinea pigs resulting from intravaginal inoculation of the Chlamydia psittaci agent of guinea pig inclusion conjunctivitis (GPIC). Isolation of chlamydiae from different tissues of the genital tract revealed definitive evidence for ascending infection that was not dose-related. By 7 days after infection, GPIC was isolated from the endometrium and oviducts of 78% of the animals. Pathologic changes analogous to those seen in human chlamydial disease, including polymorphonuclear, mononuclear, and plasma cell infiltration, were seen in the endometrium and oviducts, although not all isolation positive animals developed overt tubal disease. Long-term fibrosis, often in combination with hydrosalpinx, was noted in the mesosalpingeal tissue in 20% of the animals. Thus, the guinea pig:GPIC system represents a model for ascending chlamydial infection resulting from vaginal inoculation of normal guinea pigs that closely approximates the disease as seen in humans and can be used to study the pathogenesis of chlamydial genital infection.

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