Chlamydia trachomatis and the HLA involvement in the development of infection and disease: a narrative review
Introduction. CT (Chlamydia trachomatis) is among the most common pathogens leading to sexually transmitted diseases. Considering the uncertain mechanism by which HLA polymorphisms influence the CT infection, reinfection, comorbidities or evolution and because there is no consensus regarding the alleles involved in the pathogenesis of the infection, we considered necessary to perform a review to summarize the current knowledge of HLA related to CT.
Methods. Pubmed was researched using key terms. Out of the 198 results found, we analyzed articles of all types which describe how the MHC, through HLA alleles, participates in the different stages of CT penetration in the body, including studies about cells or other molecules involved in the process.
Results. Almost 40% of the variation in the clinical course of CT infection depends on host genetic factors. There are haplotypes that influence the infection susceptibility/resistance, haplotypes that are involved in the recurrence of the infection, haplotypes that are related to tubal infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease development or trachoma. Antibody to Chsp60 (influenced by MHC genes) has been observed to correlate with late tissue-damaging sequelae. Toll-like receptors were found to increase the susceptibility to CT. The association of HLA-B27 creates susceptibility of reactive arthritis in the organisms infected by CT, but does not influence the carriage of CT.
Conclusion. We identified HLA haplotypes belonging both to MHC class l and ll, which influence different stages of CT infection. Genetic risk factors still need research, especially on Caucasians. Studies are moving towards designing a safe and effective vaccine.