Mechanisms of Intracellular Chlamydiae Survival

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Chlamydiae are Gram-negative, non-motile, obligate intracellular, and spherically shaped bacteria with a diameter of 0.2-1.5 μm. Chlamydiae are present in several different morphological forms: the elementary body, the reticular body, and in the last several years, there has been the observation of a third form known as the persistent or atypical form. The intracellular localization of Chlamydia provides a unique replication cycle that occurs inside a membrane-surrounded vacuole in the host cell cytoplasm and is significantly different from the method of multiplication of other microorganisms. Chlamydiae are capable of manipulating different signalling pathways inside the infected cell, thus avoiding the host immune response. This ensures intracellular multiplication, survival, and long-term persistence of Chlamydiae. There are two basic means of achieving this persistence: inhibition of apoptosis and manipulation of NF-κB (nuclear factor kappa B)-mediated signals in the host.

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