Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mice Help Researchers Understand Chlamydia

Date:
October 30, 2007
Source:
Queensland University of Technology
Summary:
Genetically engineered mice may hold the key to helping scientists hasten the development of a vaccine to protect adolescent girls against the most common sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia. The project uses a "mouse model" to study how the immune system responds to infections such as chlamydia.

Professor Peter Timms and Dr Michael Starnbach working on a vaccine for Chlamydia.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

Genetically engineered mice may hold the key to helping scientists from Queensland University of Technology and Harvard hasten the development of a vaccine to protect adolescent girls against the most common sexually transmitted disease, Chlamydia.

Dr Michael Starnbach from Harvard Medical School is in Australia to work with QUT on a joint research project using a "mouse model" to study how the immune system responds to infections such as Chlamydia.

"Ultimately the idea is to understand enough about how Chlamydia interacts with cells and how the immune system responds to those infected cells, to be able to understand which components of the immune system need to be stimulated to fight the Chlamydia infection," Dr Starnbach said.

"At Harvard we have been working on the basic biology of how the immune fighter cells known as T-cells respond to infection.

"When a person is infected with Chlamydia, the organism enters into the outermost cells of the genital tract and stays there and replicates within those cells.

"Once they're hidden within the cells, only the T-cells can recognise that the cells are infected.

"T-cells are able to recognise cells that are infected and destroy those cells, ultimately eliminating the organism from the body."

Dr Starnbach said the mouse model being developed by QUT and Harvard would see mice genetically engineered with T-cells that were specifically directed to protect against the mouse strain of Chlamydia.

"In doing this we will be able to learn things about what is involved in protecting mice against Chlamydia infection and then mimic those responses with vaccines," he said.

Professor Peter Timms along with Professor Ken Beagley, from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, are heading a QUT research team working with Dr Starnbach.

"QUT has already identified certain proteins that may be able to be incorporated into vaccines to protect against Chlamydia infection," Professor Timms said.

"We've been testing these proteins and, by working with Harvard, we hope to build on this research."

Professor Timms said, with rates of Chlamydia infection in some Australian communities as high as 12 per cent of the female population, there was a "real need" to develop a vaccine.

"Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world and results in infertility in women and long-term chronic pelvic pain," he said.

"There are antibiotics to treat Chlamydia, but there's no vaccine to prevent it. In many cases women don't know they are infected because there are not really any physical signs or symptoms, so by and large they don't get treatment."

The project has been supported by a grant from the Harvard Club of Australia Foundation in a program aimed at increasing links between Australian and Harvard-based scientists and building important research collaborations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queensland University of Technology. "Mice Help Researchers Understand Chlamydia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029100627.htm>.
Queensland University of Technology. (2007, October 30). Mice Help Researchers Understand Chlamydia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029100627.htm
Queensland University of Technology. "Mice Help Researchers Understand Chlamydia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029100627.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins