Chlamydial disease: A crossroad between chronic infection and development of cancer

Carlo Contini, Silva Seraceni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Chlamydia is an intracellular bacterium implicated as potentially oncogenic for its tendency to cause chronic and persistent infections. These organisms have been frequently associated with several types of cancer including cervical dysplasia and cancer by C. trachomatis, lung cancer and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma by C. pneumoniae and a number of non-gastrointestinal MALT lymphomas such as ocular adnexal lymphoma by C. psittaci, suggesting a potential role. C. trachomatis, which causes ocular-genital infections in humans, was recently demonstrated at molecular and cultural level in patients with ocular cancer, thus implying also for this bacterium a role in the pathogenesis of the above malignancy. The pathophysiological processes and molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of chronic inflammatory disease, persistence, and ultimately cancer, still need to be clarified. This chapter describes the pathogenetic aspects of Chlamydial infections favouring the onset of chronic diseases and cancers as well as the diagnostic and clinical features in relation to Chlamydia species involved. The potential application of bacteria-eradicating therapy would certainly represent an exciting challenge for the next few years.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBacteria and Cancer
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)9789400725850, 9400725841, 9789400725843
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer
  • Cell culture
  • Chlamydia
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Chlamydia psittaci
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae
  • Chlamydophila psittaci
  • Doxycycline
  • Hsp
  • Macrolides
  • MALT lymphoma
  • MZL
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Ocular adnexal lymphoma
  • PBMC
  • PCR
  • Quinolones
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Chlamydial disease: A crossroad between chronic infection and development of cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this