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Pathog Dis. 2014 Jun;71(1):90-2. doi: 10.1111/2049-632X.12121. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Infectivity of urogenital Chlamydia trachomatis plasmid-deficient, CT135-null, and double-deficient strains in female mice.

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Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT, USA.


Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common cause of human bacterial sexually transmitted infections and is the world's leading cause of infectious preventable blindness. The chlamydial 7.5-kb plasmid and chromosomal gene CT135 have been shown to be important virulence factors in both nonhuman primate and mouse infection models. Chlamydia trachomatis plasmid-deficient urogenital isolates and a predicted CT135 null mutant have been evaluated independently in the female mouse genital tract model and both have been shown to reduce infectivity and virulence. However, these attenuating phenotypes have not been evaluated collectively in the murine model. Here, we test the infectivity of C. trachomatis serovar D strains in the mouse model that are plasmid-deficient, CT135 disrupted, or possess a combination of these attenuating genotypes. We find that the presence of the plasmid results in infections with higher infectious burdens, whereas CT135 facilitates a more protracted or chronic infection. Not unexpectedly, a combination of these genetic deficiencies resulted in a strain with enhanced infection attenuation characteristics.


CT135; Chlamydiae; mouse infectivity; plasmid

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