Characterizing the Immune Response to Chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial cause of sexually transmitted disease in the developed world, and the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. It is an obligate intracellular bacterium that infects the epithelial cells of either the conjunctivae or the genital tract. Chlamydia species have a unique lifestyle, consisting of two distinct developmental forms: the metabolically inert, infectious elementary body (EB) that can survive outside the host cell and the non-infectious, replicative reticulate body (RB) that is found exclusively within a specialized vacuole called an inclusion.
Our lab is interested in characterizing the immune response against Chlamydia after infection. Our projects range from identifying how the innate immune system detects and attempts to clear Chlamydia, to characterizing how memory T cells differentiate after infection.