Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Sciences


Microbial Pathogenesis, Immunology, and Inflammation

Research Advisor

Gerald I. Byrne, Ph.D.


Robert J. Belland, Ph.D. B. Keith English, M.D. Elizabeth A. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. P. David Rogers, Pharm.D., Ph.D.


Chlamydia, Disease, Genital Tract, Mouse, Sequelae


Genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection is a major public health concern. Chlamydia is the most commonly reported infection in the United States and the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Unrecognized infection endangers female reproductive health by serious complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, ectopic pregnancy, and involuntary infertility. Widespread Chlamydia control programs were implemented more than two decades ago to improve women's reproductive health but, despite initial success, the number of chlamydial infections reported have increased.

One of the hypotheses put forth to explain increased chlamydial reporting suggests that a longterm caveat of control initiatives is interference with the development of natural occurring immunity as a result of mass screening and rapid treatment. It is proposed that human cohorts are more susceptible to subsequent chlamydiae infection and their increased susceptibility drive the current increase in sexually transmitted chlamydiae case notifications.

In these studies we describe a comprehensive approach to assessing the role of early antichlamydial intervention, an integral component of control initiatives, on the subsequent development and severity of upper genital tract sequelae in a murine model of recurrent chlamydiae urogenital infection. The development of an in vivo model of urogenital Chlamydia trachomatis infection is central to defining the risk of developing long term reproductive complications, delineating potential biomarkers for chlamydial-induced genital tract disease, interrogating host factors that may contribute to the development of adverse complications, and anti-chlamydial vaccine development.




One year embargo expired December 2014