Veterinary immunology and immunopathology

Porcine retinal cell line VIDO R1 and Chlamydia suis to modelize ocular chlamydiosis.

PMID 26103808


Human ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infections can lead to trachoma, the major cause of infectious blindness worldwide. Trachoma control strategies are very helpful but logistically challenging, and a trachoma vaccine is needed but not available. Pigs are a valuable large animal model for various immunological questions and could facilitate the study of human ocular chlamydial infections. In addition, a recent study identified the zoonotic potential of Chlamydia suis, the natural pathogen of pigs. In terms of the One Health Initiative, understanding the host-pathogen-interactions and finding a vaccine for porcine chlamydia infections would also benefit human health. Thus, we infected the porcine retinal cell line VIDO R1 with C. suis and analyzed the chlamydial life cycle and the innate immune response of the infected cells. Our results indicate that C. suis completes its life cycle in VIDO R1 cells within 48 h, comparable to C. trachomatis in humans. C. suis infection of VIDO R1 cells led to increased levels of various innate immune mediators like pathogen recognition receptors, cytokines and chemokines including IL6, TNFα, and MMP9, also most relevant in human C. trachomatis infections. These results illustrate the first steps in the host-pathogen-interactions of ocular C. suis infections in pigs and show their similarity to C. trachomatis infections in humans, justifying further testing of pigs as an animal model for human trachoma.