Nav: Home

Researchers find new treatment for Chlamydia

February 06, 2019

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a new way to prevent and treat Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world.

The new treatment differs from the traditional anti-biotic treatment as it is a type of gene therapy that is delivered via nanotechnology and is showing a 65 per cent success rate in preventing chlamydia infection on a single dose.

"As antibiotic resistance continues to develop, people may experience Chlamydia infections that cannot be treated through conventional means, which is causing increasing public health challenges," said Emmanuel Ho, a professor at Waterloo's School of Pharmacy. "If left untreated or if treatment takes an extended period of time it can lead to infertility and other reproductive issues so finding new ways to treat this common infection is important.

"As the Food and Drug Administration in the United States has recently approved the first siRNA-based drug for market, we're hopeful this kind of research will be able to be widely available in the future."

The new treatment created in Ho's lab targets Chlamydia infection by preventing the majority of bacteria from entering cells in the genital tract and destroying any bacteria that is able to penetrate a cell wall. The team was able to achieve this by using a small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) to target a specific gene called PDGFR-beta in the female reproductive tract, which creates a protein that binds to Chlamydia bacteria.

"By targeting PDGFR-beta we're able to stop the creation of the protein that Chlamydia will use to enter genital tract skin cells," said Ho. "As a result, an incoming infection has fewer targets to latch onto and infection is less likely to occur."

If Chlamydia bacteria can bind to cells and enter them the nanomedicine treatment is designed to activate autophagy, a cellular process where infected skin cells are able to form a bubble around that bacteria and destroy it.

On its own, siRNA cannot enter skin cells to reduce PDGFR-beta expression and prevent Chlamydia binding. The new gene therapy uses a unique nanoparticle that enables siRNA to enter the cells, reduce Chlamydia's ability to bind and destroy invasive bacteria and prevent the disease from spreading.
-end-
Ho's new treatment is detailed in a new study, Autophagy induction and PDGFR-β knockdown by siRNA-encapsulated nanoparticles reduce Chlamydia trachomatis infection, that appears in the journal Scientific Reports.

University of Waterloo

Related Bacteria Articles:

Conducting shell for bacteria
Under anaerobic conditions, certain bacteria can produce electricity. This behavior can be exploited in microbial fuel cells, with a special focus on wastewater treatment schemes.
Controlling bacteria's necessary evil
Until now, scientists have only had a murky understanding of how these relationships arise.
Bacteria take a deadly risk to survive
Bacteria need mutations -- changes in their DNA code -- to survive under difficult circumstances.
How bacteria hunt other bacteria
A bacterial species that hunts other bacteria has attracted interest as a potential antibiotic, but exactly how this predator tracks down its prey has not been clear.
Chlamydia: How bacteria take over control
To survive in human cells, chlamydiae have a lot of tricks in store.
More Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...