Specific-pathogen-free pigs as an animal model for studying Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection
Vanrompay, Daisy × Hoang, Thi Q T De Vos, Liselotte Verminnen, Kristel Harkinezhad, Taher Chiers, Koen Morré, Servaas A Cox, Eric #
Infection and immunity. vol:73 issue:12 pages:8317-21
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate pigs as a large-animal model for female genital infection with two Chlamydia trachomatis human serovar E strains. Sixteen-week-old specific-pathogen-free female pigs (gilts) were intravaginally infected with the trachoma type E reference strain Bour or the urogenital serovar E strain 468. Several conclusions can be drawn from our findings on the pathogenicity of a primary C. trachomatis genital infection in gilts. First of all, we demonstrated that the serovar E strains Bour and 468 could ascend in the genital tract of gilts. The serovar E strains could replicate in the superficial columnar cervical epithelium and in the superficial epithelial layer of the uterus, which are known to be the specific target sites for a C. trachomatis genital infection in women. Second, inflammation and pathology occurred at the replication sites. Third, the organisms could trigger a humoral immune response, as demonstrated by the presence of immunoglobulin M (IgM), IgG, and IgA in both serum and genital secretion samples. Our findings imply that the pig model might be useful for studying the pathology, pathogenesis, and immune response to a C. trachomatis infection of the genital system.