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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
IF: 1.352 5-Year IF: 3.347 SJR: 0.657 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v29.i4.10
pages 275-305

Chlamydial Infection of Immune Cells: Altered Function and Implications for Disease

Kenneth Beagley
Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Wilhelmina M. Huston
Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Philip M. Hansbro
Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, The University of Newcastle (UoN), Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia; Centre for Inflammation, Centenary Institute, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia; Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia
Peter Timms
Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

ABSTRACT

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that infects the genital and ocular mucosa of humans, causing infections that can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and blinding trachoma. C. pneumoniae is a respiratory pathogen that is the cause of 12−15% of community-acquired pneumonia. Both chlamydial species were believed to be restricted to the epithelia of the genital, ocular, and respiratory mucosa; however, increasing evidence suggests that both these pathogens can be isolated from peripheral blood of both healthy individuals and patients with inflammatory conditions such as coronary artery disease and asthma. Chlamydia can also be isolated from brain tissues of patients with degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, and also from certain lymphomas. An increasing number of in vitro studies suggest that some chlamydial species can infect immune cells, at least at low levels. These infections may alter immune cell function in a way that promotes chlamydial persistence in the host and contributes to the progression of several chronic inflammatory diseases. In this paper, we review the evidence for the growth of Chlamydia in immune cells, particularly monocytes/macrophages and dendritic cells, and describe how infection may affect the function of these cells.


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