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Keywords:

  • Chlamydia;
  • apoptosis;
  • Mcl-1;
  • mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis

Abstract

Chlamydia has long been studied as an intracellular pathogen causing widespread diseases. In the last three decades, the field of apoptosis has rapidly emerged, and as a consequence, research on infectious diseases in general and on Chlamydia–host interaction in particular shifted to apoptosis modulation. Ten years ago, the first paper describing the drastic inhibition of apoptosis in Chlamydia-infected cells was published. In a reversal of roles, here was a pathogen that was strongly protecting cells in an organism against destruction by the organism's immune system. Since then, numerous studies have described apoptosis inhibition by Chlamydia and the mechanisms involved, but still there is a lack of general consensus on the subject. With a section of studies even reporting the induction of cell death by Chlamydia and not its inhibition, the field became even more diverse and complicated. In this review, an attempt is made to discuss the recent findings on apoptosis modulation by chlamydial species.