Targeted Gene Modification in Animal Pathogenic Chlamydia
[2019-11-07] Researchers at Umeå University (Sweden), in collaboration with researchers at the University of Maryland and Duke University (USA), now for the first time successfully performed targeted gene mutation in the zoonotic pathogen Chlamydia caviae.
The human pathogenic bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial pathogen worldwide. It is estimated to infect more than 100 million people each year and is a frequent cause of infertility. Moreover, Chlamydia trachomatis also causes eye infections and represents the most frequent infectious cause of blindness in developing areas of the world.
Less widely known is that Chlamydia affects not only humans, but also animals. By causing disease in farm animals, such as in cows, sheep, pigs and chicken, Chlamydia can cause significant economic damage. Moreover, Chlamydia also infects pet animals, such as cats, guinea pigs, and parrots. While the Chlamydia species that infect animals are biologically different from the human pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis, some animal pathogenic Chlamydia can occasionally also infect humans. These zoonotic infections in which the bacteria are transmitted from an infected animal to a human can be severe and life-threatening.
In a collaborative study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the University of Maryland Baltimore (USA), Duke University (USA), and Umeå University (Sweden), joined forces to adapt a novel genetic tool for zoonotic Chlamydia.