Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen and the most prevalent bacterial sexually transmitted disease. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Following urogenital infections with C. trachomatis, pathologies such as hydrosalpinx, salpingitis or damage of epithelial tissue can be observed in humans. Recently, a novel C.trachomatis mouse infection model using a novel transcervical infection route was established in our lab. This is the first robust mouse model allowing to follow up on human chlamydial species developing pathologies in the urogenital tract.
I will make use of this in vivo model in mice to modulate the progression and analyze the outcome of C. trachomatis and C. muridarum infections in mice
In this project, we aim to understand the molecular and cellular basis of how chlamydial infections lead to severe pathologies in vivo and how the course of the infection can be modulated.
We will combine cell culture based techniques, infection in the mouse and molecular methods to develop a valid Chlamydia trachomatis pathology model in vivo; make use of a novel antibiotic and of co-infection assays to modulate the infection and analyze bacterial burden, macroscopic pathologies, histological findings and expression of inflammatory markers.