Heat Shock Protein 60 Specific T-Cell Response in Chlamydial Infections


Dr H.-M. Surcel, National Public Health Institute, Aapistie 1, Box 310, FIN-90101 Oulu, Finland. E-mail: helja-marja.surcel@ktl.fi


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) of most pathogens, including Chlamydia, are major immune targets of both humoral- and cell-mediated immune mechanisms. During the last decade, many investigators have focused their research to elucidate the complex relationship of chlamydial HSPs, especially chlamydial HSP60, and the host immune response. A central issue is whether the pathologic mechanisms in chronic chlamydial diseases are associated with an enhanced immune response to chlamydial HSP60 which can mediate tissue destruction through cytotoxic reactions, or whether they are related to the Th2 type of response that eventually leads to partial or temporary suppression of an effective antichlamydial response. Our review highlights the available knowledge between immune responses to chlamydial HSP60 and chronic chlamydial infections in human.