Chlamydophila psittaci subclinical infection in chronic polyarthritis

Martina Fabris, Salvatore De Vita, Elisa Pasini, Luca Quartuccio, Elena Pontarini, Sandra Lombardi, Cinzia Fabro, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini, Raffaele Pellerito, Maurizio Benucci, Pia Morassi, Domenico Biasi, Francesco Curcio, Riccardo Dolcetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Recent evidence indicates that Chlamydophila psittaci (Cp) may establish chronic infections, which may promote autoimmunity and/or B cell lymphoproliferation. Methods: The presence of a subclinical Cp infection was investigated in 293 patients with chronic inflammatory polyarthritis, including 175 patients with rheumatoid factor (RF)-positive and/or anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 118 with seronegative polyarthritis (46 RF-negative/anti-CCP-negative RA, 36 psoriatic arthritis and 36 undifferentiated spondylarthritis). One hundred and eighty-five healthy controls were also investigated. The presence of Cp infection was assessed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells using several PCR protocols targeting different regions of the Cp genome (16S-23S spacer rRNA, OMP-A, and Gro-EL). The DNA of other Chlamydia species (C. Pneumoniae and C. Trachomatis) was also investigated. Amplicons were sequenced to confirm the specificity of PCR products. Results: The presence of a subclinical chronic Cp infection was observed in a significantly higher percentage of patients with chronic polyarthritis (38/293; 13%) compared to healthy controls (1/185, 0.5%; OR=27.4, 95%C1:3.73-201.6, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-982
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies
  • Autoimmunity
  • Chlamydophila psittaci
  • Pathogenesis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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