Antibodies to variable domain 4 linear epitopes of the chlamydia trachomatis major outer membrane protein are not associated with chlamydia resolution or reinfection in women

Academic Article


  • Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterium. C. trachomatis infection is the most prevalent bacterial sexually transmitted infection and can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women. There is no licensed vaccine for C. trachomatis prevention, in part due to gaps in our knowledge of C. trachomatis-specific immune responses elicited during human infections. Previous investigations of the antibody response to C. trachomatis have identified immunodominant antigens and antibodies that can neutralize infection in cell culture. However, epitope-specific responses to C. trachomatis are not well characterized, and the impact of these antibodies on infection outcome is unknown. We recently developed a technology called deep sequencecoupled biopanning that uses bacteriophage virus-like particles to display peptides from antigens and affinity select against human serum IgG. Here, we used this technology to map C. trachomatis-specific antibodies in groups of women with defined outcomes following C. trachomatis infection: (i) C. trachomatis negative upon presentation for treatment ("spontaneous resolvers"), (ii) C. trachomatis negative at a 3-month follow-up visit after treatment ("nonreinfected"), and (iii) C. trachomatis positive at a 3-month follow-up after treatment ("reinfected"). This analysis yielded immunodominant epitopes that had been previously described but also identified new epitopes targeted by human antibody responses to C. trachomatis. We focused on human antibody responses to the C. trachomatis variable domain 4 serovar-conserved region of the major outer membrane protein (VD4-MOMP), a previously described immunodominant epitope. All three groups of women produced IgG to the VD4-MOMP, suggesting that detection of serum antibodies to VD4-MOMP in women with urogenital C. trachomatis infection is not associated with protection against reinfection.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • mSphere  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 23857538
  • Author List

  • Collar AL; Linville AC; Core SB; Wheeler CM; Geisler WM; Peabody DS; Chackerian B; Frietze KM
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 5