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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2007 May-Jun;25(3):470-9.

New insights into bacterial persistence in reactive arthritis.

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Department of Rheumatology, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine at Vilnius University, Lithuania.


Persistence of arthritis-triggering bacteria can cause chronization of reactive arthritis (ReA). In the evaluation of bacterial persistence in ReA, the persistence of both the triggering bacteria and also of the other bacteria residing in the foci of chronic infection, are important. Two forms of bacterial persistence, cell wall-deficient bacteria (L-forms) and bacterial biofilms, are characterized, and the possible links between these forms and ReA are revealed. Data showing the possibility of bacterial ReA triggers to enter the cell wall-deficient state and to persist in bacterial biofilms, and evidence, suggesting that cell wall-deficient bacteria and bacterial biofilms are involved in the foci of chronic infection, are discussed. The understanding of the properties of microbes when they exist in cell wall-deficient state and bacterial biofilms may expand our knowledge on the clinical value of persisting microorganisms in ReA. In conclusion, both modes of persistence, cell wall-deficient state of bacteria and bacterial biofilms, deserve rheumatologists' attention, as their investigation, applying modern standardized methods, may contribute to the elaboration of new beneficial schemes of antibacterial ReA therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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