Type-I Interferon Signaling Protects against Chlamydia trachomatis Infection in the Female Lower Genital Tract

Rongze He, Caroline Andrea Torres, Yihui Wang, Cheng He, Guangming Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that Chlamydia trachomatis is significantly inhibited during the early stage of infection in the female mouse lower genital tract and the anti-C. trachomatis innate immunity is compromised in the absence of cGAS-STING signaling. Since type-I interferon is a major downstream response of the cGAS-STING signaling, we evaluated the effect of type-I interferon signaling on C. trachomatis infection in the female genital tract in the current study. The infectious yields of chlamydial organisms recovered from vaginal swabs along the infection course were carefully compared between mice with or without deficiency in type-I interferon receptor (IFNaR1) following intravaginal inoculation with 3 different doses of C. trachomatis. It was found that IFNaR1-deficient mice significantly increased the yields of live chlamydial organisms on days 3 and 5, providing the 1st experimental evidence for a protective role of type-I interferon signaling in preventing C. trachomatis infection in mouse female genital tract. Further comparison of live C. trachomatis recovered from different genital tract tissues between wild type and IFNaR1-deficient mice revealed that the type-I interferon-dependent anti-C. trachomatis immunity was restricted to mouse lower genital tract. This conclusion was validated when C. trachomatis was inoculated transcervically. Thus, we have demonstrated an essential role of type-I interferon signaling in innate immunity against C. trachomatis infection in the mouse lower genital tract, providing a platform for further revealing the molecular and cellular basis of type-I interferon-mediated immunity against sexually transmitted infection with C. trachomatis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • female lower genital tract
  • type-I IFN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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