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Chapter 9 : Models of Immunity
Category: Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology; Bacterial Pathogenesis
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This chapter provides a thorough discussion of the naturally occurring immune response to chlamydial infection of the genital tract, respiratory tract, and conjunctiva, including the events leading to resolution of infection, the mechanisms involved in resolution, and the events and mechanisms participating in the immune response to reinfection. The chapter addresses the ongoing development of a chlamydial vaccine including a review of vaccine studies, potential immunogens, and strategies of immunization. Unquestionably, there is a strong immune response in humans resulting from genital, ocular, or respiratory infection with relevant species of Chlamydia. As with many infections, immunity is seldom an all-or-none matter; therefore, a section explores some of the potential parameters which contribute to the resistance or susceptibility to reinfection. In addition, since immunity, particularly in adolescents, appears to be short-lived, any vaccine that is developed must do better than the natural infection, which is something that has proven to be extremely difficult. The chapter further reviews attempts at immunization with different immunogens or forms of immunogens, as well as the effect of the immunization route. Finally, the chapter discusses the potential immunization strategies, based on one's knowledge of the immune response and disease pathogenesis. In evaluating possible vaccine strategies for chlamydial disease, it is important to remember that we are dealing with the prevention of different disease entities. It is unlikely that a single vaccination protocol will be effective against trachoma, genital disease, pneumonia, coronary artery disease, and veterinary diseases.
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