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Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2014 Jun 10;4:71. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2014.00071. eCollection 2014.

Morphologic and molecular evaluation of Chlamydia trachomatis growth in human endocervix reveals distinct growth patterns.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, LA, USA.
2
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Memphis, TN, USA.
3
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Memphis, TN, USA ; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University Cairo, Egypt.
4
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO, USA.
5
Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, LA, USA.

Abstract

In vitro models of Chlamydia trachomatis growth have long been studied to predict growth in vivo. Alternative or persistent growth modes in vitro have been shown to occur under the influence of numerous stressors but have not been studied in vivo. Here, we report the development of methods for sampling human infections from the endocervix in a manner that permits a multifaceted analysis of the bacteria, host and the endocervical environment. Our approach permits evaluating total bacterial load, transcriptional patterns, morphology by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, and levels of cytokines and nutrients in the infection microenvironment. By applying this approach to two pilot patients with disparate infections, we have determined that their contrasting growth patterns correlate with strikingly distinct transcriptional biomarkers, and are associated with differences in local levels of IFNγ. Our multifaceted approach will be useful to dissect infections in the human host and be useful in identifying patients at risk for chronic disease. Importantly, the molecular and morphological analyses described here indicate that persistent growth forms can be isolated from the human endocervix when the infection microenvironment resembles the in vitro model of IFNγ-induced persistence.

KEYWORDS:

Chlamydia trachomatis; bacterial persistence; endocervix; human; indole; interferon gamma

PMID:
24959423
PMCID:
PMC4050528
DOI:
10.3389/fcimb.2014.00071
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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