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Genes Immun. 2006 Mar;7(2):122-9.

Genetic analysis of susceptibility to Chlamydia trachomatis in mouse.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacterial pathogen that is a major cause of blindness and infertility in diverse populations across the world. In an effort to model genetic complexities that are observed in human populations and to identify novel genes involved in susceptibility to C. trachomatis, we have adapted a murine model of systemic infection for use in genetic analysis. In this model, chlamydial colonization and replication is measured in the spleens of mice shortly after intravenous delivery of C. trachomatis L2. Here, we show that C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ inbred mice are differentially susceptible to this systemic infection. Additionally, fibroblasts cultured from C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ embryos are differentially permissive for chlamydial replication. We have taken advantage of this natural variation to map quantitative trait loci on Chromosomes 2, 3, and 11 that segregate with the bacterial load in F2 cross progeny during the acute phase of C. trachomatis infection in vivo. To validate our mapping results, we also generated mice that are congenic for a portion of Chromosome 11 from the susceptible parent. This congenic interval confers increased susceptibility to C. trachomatis, both in vivo and in vitro, suggesting that our screen identified at least one gene that is involved in cellular resistance to C. trachomatis replication.

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