Chlamydiae infection may be associated with ocular adnexal lymphoma

Infection with a species of bacteria in the same family as the bacteria that cause chlamydia may be associated with a form of lymphoma that affects the tissue surrounding the eye, according to a study in the April 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study also found that antibiotic treatment may be associated with tumor regression in some patients.

Members of the Chlamydia genus of bacteria are responsible for a wide range of human diseases. Chlamydia trachomatis causes a number of sexually transmitted diseases including chlamydia, and Chlamydia pneumoniae causes acute respiratory tract infections. Both of these species have been shown to be associated with cervical cancer and lung cancer, respectively. Infection with a third species, Chlamydia psittaci, results from exposure to infected birds and possibly other animals, and it can lead to a lung infection called psittacosis. Some studies suggest that infection with C. psittaci may also be associated with other conditions such as conjunctivitis.

There are several similarities between the pathology of ocular adnexal lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the tissue surrounding the eye, and that of gastric lymphoma, for which there is a well-established link with infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. To determine whether there is an association between infection with C. trachomatis, C. pneumoniae, or C. psittaci and ocular adnexal lymphoma, Andrs J. M. Ferreri, M.D., of the San Raffaele H Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy, and colleagues examined tissue samples from 40 patients with ocular adnexal lymphoma, 26 patients with a benign condition of lymphoid tissue called lymphadenopathy, and 20 healthy people. They also collected white blood cells from 21 patients with ocular adnexal lymphoma and 38 healthy adults.

They found C. psittaci DNA in 80% (32 of 40) of the ocular adnexal lymphoma sampl

Contact: Sarah L. Zielinski
Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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