A new dawn for chlamydia research
The chlamydiae are members of a diverse group of bacteria that replicate exclusively within eukaryotic cells. These pathogens cause various illnesses, including preventable blindness and urogenital infections in humans, spontaneous abortions in livestock, and fatal respiratory infections in birds. Chlamydiae shift from an infectious to a replicative form when they contact and invade host cells, and then replicate within specialized vacuoles. Until recently microbiologists studying chlamydiae relied on indirect approaches to study gene functions in these bacteria. During the past 5 years, several technical breakthroughs have led to genuine opportunities for practical genetic manipulations of these organisms.
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