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Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI

Resolution of Chlamydia trachomatis Infection Is Associated with a Distinct T Cell Response Profile.


PMID 26446421

Abstract

Chlamydia trachomatis is the causative agent of the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection, the total burden of which is underestimated due to the asymptomatic nature of the infection. Untreated C. trachomatis infections can cause significant morbidities, including pelvic inflammatory disease and tubal factor infertility (TFI). The human immune response against C. trachomatis, an obligate intracellular bacterium, is poorly characterized but is thought to rely on cell-mediated immunity, with CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells implicated in protection. In this report, we present immune profiling data of subjects enrolled in a multicenter study of C. trachomatis genital infection. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from subjects grouped into disease-specific cohorts were screened using a C. trachomatis proteomic library to identify the antigen specificities of recall T cell responses after natural exposure by measuring interferon gamma (IFN-γ) levels. We identified specific T cell responses associated with the resolution of infection, including unique antigens identified in subjects who spontaneously cleared infection and different antigens associated with C. trachomatis-related sequelae, such as TFI. These data suggest that novel and unique C. trachomatis T cell antigens identified in individuals with effective immune responses can be considered as targets for vaccine development, and by excluding antigens associated with deleterious sequelae, immune-mediated pathologies may be circumvented.