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Title: Host transcriptome signatures of Chlamydia pneumoniae persistence in vivo
Author: Burke, Beverley
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 3671
Awarding Body: St George's, University of London
Current Institution: St George's, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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Many common microbial infections may persist within the human host for a lifetime, some may reactivate exhibiting symptoms whilst many cause no perceived disease at all, however this co-existence over an extended time period is likely to be detrimental to one or both organisms. Several chronic pathologies, which are often insidious in nature and include an inflammatory component, have been associated with infectious agents. This study theorises that during the 'apparently healthy' time frame, subclinical changes may be occurring within the host eventually culminating in the development of chronic disease, and that differences in the levels of cellular genes expressed during microbial persistence may provide a prodromal biomarker to chronic disease development. In this study the 'apparently healthy' human host was characterised for persistence of a common obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cpn), an organism which has previously been associated with numerous chronic conditions including Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cpn is usually contracted during childhood therefore presence of microbial-specific immunoglobulin and/or nucleic acid in the peripheral blood of healthy adult donors was taken as evidence of Cpn persistence. Expression of the hosts' peripheral blood transcriptome was measured using microarrays and quantitative PCR. Five host genes were found to be differentially expressed during Cpn persistence and many of these were biological relevant to infection and immunity. The biological function of these genes suggest that the cytotoxic function of NK cells may be suppressed, monocyte/macro phages may become more adherant, there may be an overrepresentation of y/o T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes may be in an 'activated state' during Cpn persistence. Further work is required to validate these findings and this study concludes that the human host/Cpn pathogen model system needs further validation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available