How Chlamydia Multiply Inside Human Cells?
Chlamydia, the bacteria that cause venereal diseases in humans, need to enter the cells to survive. They can find necessary metabolites for their reproduction only within the cells. For this purpose, a small bubble is created by the bacteria inside cells, and they multiply within it over several generations.
But it’s not understood so far what is the determining step that kick start the reproduction of the bacteria. Now the scientists from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Germany have come up with an answer for this. This is a very crucial finding as understanding the first step in the reproduction of the bacteria can likely lead to the discovery of new drug targets.
The first step in the reproduction of chlamydia is to reprogram the metabolism of their human hist cells. The bacteria will then import a large amount of amino acid glutamine from their environment. They cannot proliferate if they couldn’t import glutamine due to any reason. Dr. Karthika Rajeeve, Professor Thomas Rudel, and a team at JMU led the study, which got published in the journal Nature Microbiology.
Professor Rudel, who heads the Chair of Microbiology at the JMU Biocenter, said Chlamydia requires a lot of glutamine to synthesize the ring-shaped molecule peptidoglycan. Peptidoglycan is a major component of building the cell wall of bacteria. Chlamydia requires it to build a cell wall during cell division.
Clarifying the importance of glutamine metabolism in chronic chlamydiae infections will be the next goal of the JMU team. Severe diseases that develop as a result of the infection can be better understood with the help of such information.
Most of the venereal diseases in Germany are caused by Chlamydiae. It can cause inflammation in the vagina, anal area, and urethra and are transmitted sexually. The infection can be treated well with antibiotics if an infection is detected on time.
Chlamydia affects nearly 130 million people worldwide. The biggest challenge in chlamydia is that it progresses without showing any symptoms. The pathogen can easily spread due to this reason and lead to ovarian and cervical cancer. The new study that reveals how chlamydia multiplies inside human cells can lead to the development of new drug targets.