Plasmid-encoded Pgp5 is a significant contributor to Chlamydia muridarum induction of hydrosalpinx

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We have previously shown that the plasmid-encoded Pgp3 is a major virulence factor for C. muridarum induction of hydrosalpinx. We now report that Pgp5 also plays a significant role in the development of hydrosalpinx following C. muridarum induction. Pgp5 deficiency was introduced via either in-frame deletion (CM-Δpgp5) or premature stop codon installation (CM-pgp5S). Mice infected with either CM-Δpgp5 or CM-pgp5S developed hydrosalpinges at significantly reduced levels with an incidence rate of <40% and a mean severity score of 2 or less. In contrast, 80% or more mice developed hydrosalpinx with a severity score of >3 when mice were infected with Pgp5-sufficient C. muridarum (plasmid-competent wild type or plasmid-free C. muridarum transformed with a full plasmid or depleted of pgp7 gene). The attenuated pathogenicity of the Pgp5-deficient C. muridarum correlated with a significantly reduced level of ascending infection in the oviduct tissue despite the similar overall shedding courses between mice infected with Pgp5-deficeint versus sufficient C. muridarum. Furthermore, in the oviducts of mice infected with Pgp5-deficient C. muridarum, significantly lower levels of inflammatory cell infiltration and cytokine production were detected. Thus, Pgp5 is a significant plasmid-encoded virulence factor for C. muridarum pathogenicity in the upper genital tract.




Huang, Y., Zhang, Q., Yang, Z., Conrad, T., Liu, Y., & Zhong, G. (2015). Plasmid-encoded Pgp5 is a significant contributor to Chlamydia muridarum induction of hydrosalpinx. PLoS ONE, 10(4).

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