Stacey Dojiri Rose Hills
Horizontal Gene Transfer of a tet(C)-containing casette between Chlamydia suis and Chlamydia trachomatis
Many strains of Chlamydia suis, a bacteria that infects the intestinal tracts of pigs, are resistant to an antibiotic called tetracycline. My project studies whether the gene conferring tetracycline resistance can be transferred from Chlamydia suis to a different species – for example, Chlamydia trachomatis. C. trachomatis is the leading cause of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases and preventable blindness (or trachoma) in the world today, and tetracycline is one of the main antibiotics used to treat those infections. Because C. suis is genetically similar to C. trachomatis and both can co-infect the same anatomic tissues in humans, it is a huge concern that the gene conferring tetracycline resistance will be transferred to C. trachomatis, making it more difficult to treat this pathogen. This project has implications for public health and our ability to effectively treat C. trachomatis infections now and in the future.