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J Infect Dis. 2011 Apr 15;203(8):1120-8. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiq176. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Murine Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection is unaltered by depletion of CD4+ T cells and diminished adaptive immunity.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205-7194, USA.


Chlamydia muridarum and Chlamydia trachomatis mouse models of genital infection have been used to study chlamydial immunity and vaccine development. To assess the protective role of CD4(+) T cells in resolving C. trachomatis and C. muridarum genital tract infections, we used the female mouse model and evaluated infection in the presence and absence of CD4(+) T cells. In contrast to C. muridarum infection, C. trachomatis infection was unaltered in the absence of CD4(+) T cells. Mice infected with C. trachomatis developed protective immunity to re-challenge, but unlike C. muridarum infection, optimum resistance required multiple infectious challenges, despite the generation of adaptive serum and local chlamydial specific immune responses. Thus, understanding the chlamydial pathogenic and host immunologic factors that result in a diminished protective role for CD4(+) T cells in C. trachomatis murine infection might lead to new insights important to human immunity and vaccine development.

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