Source of Chlamydia reinfections may be gastrointestinal tract


The current standard of care treatment for Chlamydia sometimes fails to eradicate the disease and the culprit may be in the gut.
The study is published in Infection and Immunity.

Chlamydia trachomatis not only infects the reproductive tract, but abides persistently, though benignly, in the gastrointestinal tract. There it remains even after eradication from the genitals by the antibiotic, Azithromycin ( Zithromax ).
And that reservoir is likely a source of the all-too-common reinfections that follow treatment.

The source of the reinfections has long been a conundrum. Some are blamed on continued intercourse with an infected partner. This is not surprising since Chlamydia is usually asymptomatic in men.

Chlamydiae have long been assumed often to persist within the genital tract in a non-replicating form, but there is no evidence for this.
While all agree that chlamydiae may persist in a patient for long periods of time, and that recurrent infections do develop, there has been no agreement on how and where and in what form chlamydiae persist.

In a recent study, researchers at Arkansas Children's Research Institute, Little Rock, showed in mice that Azithormycin eradicated the genital infection, but not the gastrointestinal ( GI ) infection.
Also in mice, chlamydial infection of the GI does not elicit an inflammatory response, and never resolves, unlike in the genital tract.

However, researchers found that GI infection does produce a strong immune response that can actually be effective against a genital infection, but that is unable to cure the GI infection.

While chlamydial persistence in the GI tract has largely escaped notice of late, it was documented in the veterinary literature in numerous animals as early as the 1950s.

Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common cause of sexually transmitted disease in the world. In the US, approximately 1.4 million cases occur annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ). Adolescents are most affected, and 6.8% of sexually active females ages 14-19 become infected annually. ( Xagena )

Source: American Society for Microbiology, 2014

XagenaMedicine_2014



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