Abstract Title:

Effect of bovine lactoferrin on Chlamydia trachomatis infection and inflammation.

Abstract Source:

Biochem Cell Biol. 2017 02 ;95(1):34-40. Epub 2016 Oct 21. PMID: 28094551

Abstract Author(s):

Rosa Sessa, Marisa Di Pietro, Simone Filardo, Alessia Bressan, Luigi Rosa, Antimo Cutone, Alessandra Frioni, Francesca Berlutti, Rosalba Paesano, Piera Valenti

Article Affiliation:

Rosa Sessa


Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate, intracellular pathogen responsible for the most common sexually transmitted bacterial disease worldwide, causing acute and chronic infections. The acute infection is susceptible to antibiotics, whereas the chronic one needs prolonged therapies, thus increasing the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Novel alternative therapies are needed. The intracellular development of C. trachomatis requires essential nutrients, including iron. Iron-chelating drugs inhibit C. trachomatis developmental cycle. Lactoferrin (Lf), a pleiotropic iron binding glycoprotein, could be a promising candidate against C. trachomatis infection. Similarly to the efficacy against other intracellular pathogens, bovine Lf (bLf) could both interfere with C. trachomatis entry into epithelial cells and exert an anti-inflammatory activity. In vitro and in vivo effects of bLf against C. trachomatis infectious and inflammatory process has been investigated. BLf inhibits C. trachomatis entry into host cells when incubated with cell monolayers before or at the moment of the infection and down-regulates IL-6/IL-8 synthesized by infected cells. Six out of 7 pregnant women asymptomatically infected by C. trachomatis, after 30 days of bLf intravaginal administration, were negative for C. trachomatis and showed a decrease of cervical IL-6 levels. This is the first time that the bLf protective effect against C. trachomatis infection has been demonstrated.

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