Complement C3 opsonization of Chlamydia trachomatis facilitates uptake in human monocytes

Mads Lausen, Gunna Christiansen, Nichlas Karred, Robert Winther, Thomas Bouet Guldbæk Poulsen, Yaseelan Palarasah, Svend Birkelund

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

183 Downloads (Pure)


Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes severe infections, which can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Although both innate and adaptive immune responses are elicited during chlamydial infection the bacterium succeeds to evade host defense mechanisms establishing chronic infections. Thus, studying the host-pathogen interaction during chlamydial infection is of importance to understand how C. trachomatis can cause chronic infections. Both the complement system and monocytes play essential roles in anti-bacterial defense, and, therefore, we investigated the interaction between the complement system and the human pathogens C. trachomatis D and L2. Complement competent serum facilitated rapid uptake of both chlamydial serovars into monocytes. Using immunoelectron microscopy, we showed that products of complement C3 were loosely deposited on the bacterial surface in complement competent serum and further characterization demonstrated that the deposited C3 product was the opsonin iC3b. Using C3-depleted serum we confirmed that complement C3 facilitates rapid uptake of chlamydiae into monocytes in complement competent serum. Complement facilitated uptake did not influence intracellular survival of C. trachomatis or C. trachomatis-induced cytokine secretion. Hence, C. trachomatis D and L2 activate the complement system leading to chlamydial opsonization by iC3b and subsequent phagocytosis, activation and bacterial elimination by human monocytes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)328-336
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Complement C3 opsonization of Chlamydia trachomatis facilitates uptake in human monocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this