Pathogens and disease

Genomic variant representation in a Chlamydia population is dynamic and adaptive with dependence on in vitro and in vivo passage.

PMID 25673672


We have previously shown that Chlamydia muridarum has multiple genomic variants that concomitantly vary in their in vitro and in vivo phenotype. Herein, we used real-time polymerase chain reaction-based genotyping assays to query plaque-cloned isolates of C. muridarum for the frequency of eight selected polymorphisms. These strains had no history of passage in vivo since their original isolation from laboratory mice. There was significant variance in the frequency of two of the eight polymorphisms assessed with the remaining exhibiting a low rate of variance. To determine if any of these polymorphisms were more favorable for in vivo conditions, we blindly passaged non-clonal C. muridarum three times at 7-day intervals through the urogenital tract of mice. Seven of the eight polymorphisms varied in frequency following in vivo passage and four of these varied between C. muridarum strains. Selected isolates displayed variable growth rates and cytopathic effect in vitro. We conclude that multiple genotypic variants are present within the existing known C. muridarum strains and that the frequency of these variants changes upon introduction into the mouse host. These findings lend support to the concept that genotypic proportional representation in a chlamydial population is dynamic and adaptive.

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6-Carboxyfluorescein, ~97% (HPLC)