Less widely known is that Chlamydia affects not only humans, but also animals. By causing disease in farm animals, such as in cows, sheep, pigs and chicken, Chlamydia can cause significant economic damage. Moreover, Chlamydia also infects pet animals, such as cats, guinea pigs, and parrots. While the Chlamydia species that infect animals are biologically different from the human pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis, some animal pathogenic Chlamydia can occasionally also infect humans. These zoonotic infections in which the bacteria are transmitted from an infected animal to a human can be severe and life-threatening.
In a collaborative study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the University of Maryland Baltimore (USA), Duke University (USA), and Umeå University (Sweden), joined forces to adapt a novel genetic tool for zoonotic Chlamydia.
Order - Chlamydia - Infections - Humans - Others
"In order to understand why some Chlamydia can cause infections in humans and others not, we need to investigate how these different bacterial species differ in their ability to interact with their hosts," says infection biologist Barbara Sixt from the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at Umeå University, one of the project leaders.
All known Chlamydia are intracellular bacteria, which means that the bacteria can enter into human or animal cells and multiply in the inside of the host cell. To remodel the host cell into a perfect home for the bacteria, Chlamydia produce virulence factors that can modify the normal functions of the cell. Interestingly, different Chlamydia species appear to produce distinct sets of these factors. "It is possible that the presence or absence of different virulence factors during infection with different Chlamydia species can determine their ability to infect different hosts and their ability to cause different diseases in these hosts," says Barbara Sixt.
Ability - Function - Importance - Virulence - Factors
Our ability to test the function and importance of specific virulence factors depends on experimental strategies that enable...
Wake Up To Breaking News!