Despite the extensive in vitro characterization of CPAF (chlamydial protease/proteasome-like activity factor), its role in chlamydial infection and pathogenesis remains unclear. We now report that a Chlamydia trachomatis strain deficient in expression of CPAF (L2-17) is no longer able to establish a successful infection in the mouse lower genital tract following an intravaginal inoculation. The L2-17 organisms were cleared from the mouse lower genital tract within a few days, while a CPAF-sufficient C. trachomatis strain (L2-5) survived in the lower genital tract for more than 3 weeks. However, both the L2-17 and L2-5 organisms maintained robust infection courses that lasted up to 4 weeks when they were directly delivered into the mouse upper genital tract. The CPAF-dependent chlamydial survival in the lower genital tract was confirmed in multiple strains of mice. Thus, we have demonstrated a critical role of CPAF in promoting C. trachomatis survival in the mouse lower genital tracts. It will be interesting to further investigate the mechanisms of the CPAF-dependent chlamydial pathogenicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases