Chlamydiae in human intestinal biopsy samples.

Borel, Nicole; Marti, Hanna; Pospischil, Andreas; Pesch, Theresa; Prähauser, Barbara; Wunderlin, Sabina; Seth-Smith, Helena M B; Low, Nicola; Flury, Renata (2018). Chlamydiae in human intestinal biopsy samples. Pathogens and disease, 76(8), fty081. Oxford University Press 10.1093/femspd/fty081

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Chlamydia trachomatis is frequently detected in anorectal specimens from men and women. A recent hypothesis suggests that C. trachomatis is a natural commensal organism asymptomatically colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we investigated the presence of chlamydial DNA and antigen in intestinal biopsy samples taken during colonoscopy. Cases (n = 32) were patients whose histopathology reports included the term 'chlamydia', suggesting a possible history of infection. Control patients (n = 234) did not have chlamydia mentioned in their histopathology report and all tested negative for Chlamydiaceae DNA by 23S ribosomal RNA-based real-time PCR. Amongst the cases, C. trachomatis DNA was detected in the appendix and colon of two female and one male patients. C. abortus DNA was present in the colon of a fourth female patient. Thus, chlamydial DNA could be demonstrated in intestinal biopsy samples proximal to the anorectal site and inclusions were identified in rectum or appendix of two of these patients by immunohistochemistry. However, the findings in two cases were compatible with sexually acquired C. trachomatis. The identification of C. trachomatis DNA/antigen does not prove the presence of active infection with replicating bacteria. Larger prospective studies on fresh tissue samples are required to confirm the data obtained in this study.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Low, Nicola


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Oxford University Press




Tanya Karrer

Date Deposited:

30 Nov 2018 13:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:21

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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