An optimized, fast-to-perform mouse lung infection model with the human pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis for in vivo screening of antibiotics, vaccine candidates and modified host-pathogen interactions

Pavel Dutow, Lea Wask, Miriam Bothe, Beate Fehlhaber, Robert Laudeley, Claudia Rheinheimer, Zhangsheng Yang, Guangming Zhong, Silke Glage, Andreas Klos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Chlamydia trachomatis causes sexually transmitted diseases with infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and neonatal pneumonia as complications. The duration of urogenital mouse models with the strict mouse pathogen C. muridarum addressing vaginal shedding, pathological changes of the upper genital tract or infertility is rather long. Moreover, vaginal C. trachomatis application usually does not lead to the complications feared in women. A fast-to-perform mouse model is urgently needed to analyze new antibiotics, vaccine candidates, immune responses (in gene knockout animals) or mutants of C. trachomatis. To complement the valuable urogenital model with a much faster and quantifiable screening method, we established an optimized lung infection model for the human intracellular bacterium C. trachomatis serovar D (and L2) in immunocompetent C57BL/6J mice. We demonstrated its usefulness by sensitive determination of antibiotic effects characterizing advantages and limitations achievable by early or delayed short tetracycline treatment and single-dose azithromycin application. Moreover, we achieved partial acquired protection in reinfection with serovar D indicating usability for vaccine studies, and showed a different course of disease in absence of complement factor C3. Sensitive monitoring parameters were survival rate, body weight, clinical score, bacterial load, histological score, the granulocyte marker myeloperoxidase, IFN-γ, TNF-α, MCP-1 and IL-6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPathogens and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016



  • antibiotic treatment
  • azithromycin
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • complement
  • gene knockout mice
  • mouse model
  • pneumonia
  • screening
  • tetracycline
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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