Zoonotic Chlamydiaceae Species Associated with Trachoma, Nepal
Trachoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Commercial assays do not discriminate among all Chlamydiaceae species that might be involved in trachoma. We investigated whether a commercial Micro-ArrayTube could discriminate Chlamydiaceae species in DNA extracted directly from conjunctival samples from 101 trachoma patients in Nepal. To evaluate organism viability, we extracted RNA, reverse transcribed it, and subjected it to quantitative real-time PCR. We found that 71 (70.3%) villagers were infected. ArrayTube sensitivity was 91.7% and specificity was 100% compared with that of real-time PCR. Concordance between genotypes detected by microarray and ompA genotyping was 100%. Species distribution included 54 (76%) single infections with Chlamydia trachomatis, C. psittaci, C. suis, or C. pecorum, and 17 (24%) mixed infections that includied C. pneumoniae. Ocular infections were caused by 5 Chlamydiaceae species. Additional studies of trachoma pathogenesis involving Chlamydiaceae species other than C. trachomatis and their zoonotic origins are needed.