Molecular evidence of Chlamydia trachomatis in a female patient with ocular lymphoma and chronic hepatitis B

Abstract number: P2158

Contini C., Seraceni S., Lanza F., Carradori S., Sebastiani A., Perri P.

Objectives: Ocular adnexal non-Hodgkin lymphoma (OANHL), constitute a heterogeneous group of neoplasms that have been associated to a high prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci infection in tumour tissues and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) without evidence of other Chlamydia spp. or other microrganisms.

Methods: We carried out cell cultures and PCR methods to investigate Chlamydia spp. in tumour tissue and PBMC specimens collected from a patient with OANHL. The patient was a 53-years-old woman suffering from chronic B hepatitis, who was referred in September 2007 to the Section of Ophthalmology of University of Ferrara because of right ocular lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (immunocitoma) of conjunctiva with microscopic evidence of typical salmon masses. In 2001, the patient had developed an analogous tumour in the left eye treated with radiotherapy. Common routine microbiological and serological tests were all negative for recent infections. Quantification of hepatitis B viral load showed highly detectable DNA viraemia. Because of the possible link between chlamydial infections and malignant lymphomas, the patient was referred to the Section of Infectious Diseases of our University to investigate Chlamydiae and other pathogens. DNA extraction from PBMC and lymphoma tissue samples was carried out following a standard phenol/chloroform extraction technique after proteinase K digestion. PCR with primer sets amplifying Chlamydiae gene 16s RNA and MOMP was assayed on DNA from fresh specimens, supernatant and cells culture (Hep-2).

Results: A PCR positive product (527 bp) corresponding to C. trachomatis MOMP was found in cultured tissues and PBMC specimens only. After sequencing, this fragment did show a strict homology with C. trachomatis (BLAST). No C. psittaci nor C. pneumoniae DNA sequences were detected. The patient was treated 4 weeks with doxycycline 100 mg, twice a day and PBMC chlamydial DNA did result negative after the conclusion of antibiotic treatment. A significant reduction of the previously described ocular lesions was observed.

Conclusions: This is the first study which demonstrates the presence of C. trachomatis DNA in PBMCs of a patient with ocular lymphoma. Like other chlamydiae, this pathogen causes persistent infection which may favour the development of OAL. The combination of culture with PCR has shown to improve the sensitivity of PCR thus suggesting its potential use to detect C. trachomatis and to monitor the efficacy of therapy.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
Back to top