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Permissivity of Vero cells, human pneumocytes and human endometrial cells to Waddlia chondrophila.
Microbes and Infection
Growing evidence suggests that the bacterium Waddlia chondrophila, a novel member of the Chlamydiales order, is an agent of miscarriage in humans and abortion in ruminants. We thus investigated the permissivity of three epithelial cell lines, primate Vero kidney cells, human A549 pneumocytes and human Ishikawa endometrial cells to this strict intracellular bacteria. Bacterial growth kinetics in these cell lines was assessed by quantitative PCR and immunofluorescence and our results demonstrated that W. chondrophila enters and efficiently multiplies in these epithelial cell lines. Additionally, confocal and electron microscopy indicated that the bacteria co-localize with host cell mitochondria. Within Vero and A549 cells, intracellular growth of W. chondrophila was associated with a significant decrease in host cell viability while no such cytophatic effect was detected in Ishikawa cells. Bacterial cell growth in this endometrial cell line stopped 48 h after infection. This stop in the replication of W. chondrophila coincided with the appearance of large aberrant bodies, a form of the bacteria also observed in Chlamydiaceae and associated with persistence. This persistent state of W. chondrophila may explain recurrent episodes of miscarriage in vivo, since the bacteria might reactivate within endometrial cells following hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
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