• Cell migration;
  • chemokines;
  • Chlamydia;
  • human;
  • reproductive tract

Problem Chlamydia trachomatis causes sexually transmitted infection and reproductive dysfunction worldwide. Identifying a population of endocervical T-cells to target in vaccine development is likely to enhance efficacy of a vaccine and reduce reproductive tract dysfunction.

Method of study  Endocervical samples were obtained from young women and flow cytometric analysis was used to identify lymphocytes that appeared in the genital tract in response to sexually transmitted bacterial infections caused by C. trachomatis.

Results  Increased numbers of α4β7+CLA+ memory T-cells, a unique T-cell phenotype, were found in the endocervix of human female subjects infected with C. trachomatis.

Conclusion A unique population of memory T lymphocytes expressing both α4β7 and CLA gain access to reproductive tract tissues during a sexually transmitted infection with C. trachomatis and should be considered in development of vaccines against sexually transmitted infections.