Intracellular location of inapparently infecting Chlamydia in synovial tissue from patients with Reiter's syndrome
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Culture ofChlamydia trachomatis from synovial tissues/fluids from Reiter's syndrome (RS) patients frequently yields negative results. However, we have identified chlamydial, RNA at that site in such patients suggesting that viable organisms may be present. Here we define the cellular location of chlamydia within the synovium via in situ hybridization. Using a chlamydial ribosomal RNA-directed probe, we show that synovial tissue from culture-negative RS patients gives strong hybridization which is often localized to a subsynovial cell layer, rather than to the synovial lining; in some cases, hybridizing cells are dispersed through the synovium. All hybridization signal is located within host cells, indicating that infectious extracellular elementary bodies are rare or absent. These data confirm the extensive intracellular presence of inapparent chlamydia in the synovia of RS patients and provide some insight into the usual culture negativity of synovial tissues for the organism.
Key WordsChlamydia Reiter's syndrome In situ hybridization Synovia
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