JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intranasal vaccination with Chlamydia pneumoniae induces cross-species immunity against genital Chlamydia muridarum challenge in mice

Srikanth Manam, Bharat K R Chaganty, Shankar Jaikishan Evani, Mark T Zafiratos, Anand K Ramasubramanian, Bernard P Arulanandam, Ashlesh K Murthy
PloS One 2013, 8 (5): e64917
23741420
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the world and specifically in the United States, with the highest incidence in age-groups 14-19 years. In a subset of females, the C. trachomatis genital infection leads to serious pathological sequelae including pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Chlamydia pneumoniae, another member of the same genus, is a common cause of community acquired respiratory infection with significant number of children aged 5-14 yr displaying sero-conversion. Since these bacteriae share several antigenic determinants, we evaluated whether intranasal immunization with live C. pneumoniae (1×10(6) inclusion forming units; IFU) in 5 week old female C57BL/6 mice would induce cross-species protection against subsequent intravaginal challenge with Chlamydia muridarum (5×10(4) IFU), which causes a similar genital infection and pathology in mice as C. trachomatis in humans. Mice vaccinated intranasally with live C. pneumoniae, but not mock (PBS) immunized animals, displayed high levels of splenic cellular antigen-specific IFN-γ production and serum antibody response against C. muridarum and C. trachomatis. Mice vaccinated with C. pneumoniae displayed a significant reduction in the vaginal C. muridarum shedding as early as day 12 after secondary i.vag. challenge compared to PBS (mock) immunized mice. At day 19 after C. muridarum challenge, 100% of C. pneumoniae vaccinated mice had cleared the infection compared to none (0%) of the mock immunized mice, which cleared the infection by day 27. At day 80 after C. muridarum challenge, C. pneumoniae vaccinated mice displayed a significant reduction in the incidence (50%) and degree of hydrosalpinx compared to mock immunized animals (100%). These results suggest that respiratory C. pneumoniae infection induces accelerated chlamydial clearance and reduction of oviduct pathology following genital C. muridarum challenge, and may have important implications to the C. trachomatis-induced reproductive disease in humans.

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