Unlocking Chlamydia’s Persistent State (UF Emerging Pathogens Institute)

Unlocking Chlamydia’s Persistent State

New research from the Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI) and UF’s College of Public Health & Health Professions found that exposing the sexually-transmitted bacterial pathogen Chlamydia to fosmidomycin — an antibiotic which is usually lethal to bacteria — causes Chlamydia to enter a protective bunker-like “persistent” state. The findings could bolster future efforts to intentionally disrupt the molecular changes that induce chlamydial persistence, leading to the prevention of chronic chlamydial infections.

Research led by Jessica Slade, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the lab of EPI/PHHP researcher Anthony Maurelli, Ph.D., originally sought to test whether fosmidomycin might have antimicrobial activity against C. trachomatis. Slade was inspired to test this particular drug because fosmidomycin is known to kill specific types of bacteria and parasites that invade host cells, and Chlamydia bacteria use cellular invasion as a key reproductive strategy: they enter epithelial cells where they can then safely divide.

Learn more about Unlocking Chlamydia’s Persistent State.