Infection of human monocytes by Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia trachomatis: an in vitro comparative studyReport as inadecuate

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BMC Research Notes

, 7:230

First Online: 11 April 2014Received: 24 October 2013Accepted: 03 April 2014DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-7-230

Cite this article as: Marangoni, A., Bergamini, C., Fato, R. et al. BMC Res Notes 2014 7: 230. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-7-230


BackgroundAn increasing number of studies suggest that chlamydiae can infect immune cells. The altered immune cell function could contribute to the progression of several chronic inflammatory diseases.

The aim of this study was to comparatively evaluate Chlamydia pneumoniae CP and Chlamydia trachomatis CT interactions with in vitro infected human blood monocytes.

ResultsFresh isolated monocytes were infected with viable CP and CT elementary bodies and infectivity was evaluated by recultivating disrupted monocytes in permissive epithelial cells.

The production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species was studied in the presence of specific fluorescent probes. Moreover, TNF-α, INF-α, INF-β and INF-γ gene expression was determined.

CT clearance from monocytes was complete at any time points after infection, while CP was able to survive up to 48 hours after infection. When NADPH oxydase or nitric oxide synthase inhibitors were used, CT infectivity in monocytes was restored, even if at low level, and CT recovery’s rate was comparable to CP one.

CT-infected monocytes produced significantly higher levels of reactive species compared with CP-infected monocytes, at very early time points after infection. In the same meanwhile, TNF-α and INF-γ gene expression was significantly increased in CT-infected monocytes.

ConclusionsOur data confirm that CP, but not CT, is able to survive in infected monocytes up to 48 hours post-infection. The delay in reactive species and cytokines production by CP-infected monocytes seems to be crucial for CP survival.

KeywordsHuman monocytes Chlamydia pneumoniae Chlamydia trachomatis Reactive oxygen species Reactive nitrogen species Cytokines Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-0500-7-230 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Antonella Marangoni - Christian Bergamini - Romana Fato - Claudia Cavallini - Manuela Donati - Paola Nardini - Claudio Fosc


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