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Rendered image of <em>Chlamydia</em>
How Chlamydia Guards Itself Against the Immune System
The bacterium produces a particular protein that allows it to sneak past the human immune system even while triggering inflammation.
How Chlamydia Guards Itself Against the Immune System
How Chlamydia Guards Itself Against the Immune System

The bacterium produces a particular protein that allows it to sneak past the human immune system even while triggering inflammation.

The bacterium produces a particular protein that allows it to sneak past the human immune system even while triggering inflammation.

ubiquitin
<em>Chlamydia</em> invades a host cell, forms a membrane-bound vacuole, or inclusion, and then modifies the protein composition of the structure&rsquo;s membrane. If immune cells detect <em>Chlamydia</em> before it forms the inclusion, they trigger T cells to produce interferon-&gamma; (IFN-&gamma;), a powerful cytokine. IFN-&gamma; activates the protein mysterin (also called RFN213), which attaches ubiquitin to the inclusion membrane, signaling the cell to destroy the inclusion&rsquo;s contents by dumping them into a lysosome (left). C. trachomatis produces GarD, a protein that integrates into the inclusion membrane itself and somehow prevents mysterin from attaching ubiquitin, allowing the bacterium to evade immune destruction while continuing to multiply and eventually bursting from the cell (right).
Infographic: How Chlamydia Evades Immune Detection
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Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium that causes chlamydia, hides from the immune system by cloaking itself in the host cell’s membrane then modifying the membrane’s protein composition.
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