Trafficking of Estrella lausannensis in human macrophages

Brigida Rusconi, Carole Kebbi-Beghdadi, Gilbert Greub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Estrella lausannensis is a new member of the Chlamydiales order. Like other Chlamydia-related bacteria, it is able to replicate in amoebae and in fish cell lines. A preliminary study investigating the pathogenic potential of Chlamydia-related bacteria found a correlation between antibody response to E. lausannensis and pneumonia in children. To further investigate the pathogenic potential of E. lausannensis, we determined its ability to grow in human macrophages and its intracellular trafficking. The replication in macrophages resulted in viable E. lausannensis; however, it caused a significant cytopathic effect. The intracellular trafficking of E. lausannensis was analyzed by determining the interaction of the Estrella-containing inclusions with various endocytic markers as well as host organelles. The E. lausannensis inclusion escaped the endocytic pathway rapidly avoiding maturation into phagolysosomes by preventing both EEA-1 and LAMP-1 accumulation. Compared to Waddlia chondrophila, another Chlamydia-related bacteria, the recruitment of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum was minimal for E. lausannensis inclusions. Estrella lausannensis appears to use a distinct source of nutrients and energy compared to other members of the Chlamydiales order. In conclusion, we hypothesize that E. lausannensis has a restricted growth in human macrophages, due to its reduced capacity to control programmed cell death.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPathogens and disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Chlamydia-related bacteria
  • Cytopathic effect
  • Golgi
  • Intracellular bacteria
  • Mitochondria


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