Chlamydia Internalization and Intracellular Fate

  • M. Scidmore-Carlson
  • T. Hackstadt
Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 33)


Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that cause a wide spectrum of disease in both humans and non-human species. Within the family Chlamydiaceae, there is a single genus and four species: Chlamydia trachomatis,Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia pecorum. Diseases of humans caused by Chlamydia trachomatis include sexually transmitted diseases and endemic blinding trachoma. C. pneumoniae is a widespread cause of community-acquired pneumonia (Grayston et al., 1989) and is of intense current interest due to possible associations with atheroschlerosis (Kuo et al.,1995). C. psittaci is primarily a zoonosis that occasionally infects humans and C. percorum is also an animal pathogen but infections of humans have not been reported. There are at least 15 serologically distinguished serovars of C. trachomatis with several sub-types now recognized. Different serovars are associated with distinct diseases. Infections caused by serovars A-C are associated primarily with endemic blinding trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. Infections caused by serovars D-K are typically localized to the genital tract and are the most common cause of sexually transmitted disease. The lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) serovars, Ll, L2, and L3 also cause sexually transmitted infections, however, unlike diseases caused by the trachoma serovars which remain localized to mucosal epithelium, diseases caused by LGV are more systemic and invade the inguinal lymph nodes. Based upon the ability to cause systemic infections as well as differences in interactions with eukaryotic cells in vitro, the human C. trachomatis serovars are considered to comprise two biovars, trachoma and lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) (Schachter and Caldwell, 1980).


HeLa Cell Heparan Sulfate Chlamydia Trachomatis Major Outer Membrane Protein Inclusion Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Scidmore-Carlson
    • 1
  • T. Hackstadt
    • 1
  1. 1.Host-Parasite Interactions Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesNational Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain LaboratoriesHamiltonUSA

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