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New Research, published in the journal of Biological Chemistry, outlines the shape of the Pgp3, a protein that is secreted by the Chlamydia bacterium. This protein is thought to be one of virulence factors that allow the bacterium to bypass our natural defence systems.

The authors of the report have stated that the protein’s structure is a very peculiar one. Professor Hart, one of the authors, has stated that the protein structure looks more like those associated with viruses than bacteria.

The identification of the structure may be helpful in finding a new treatment for Chlamydia. In fact, the study has identified, within the protein’s structure, ‘hotspots’ where protein-to-protein interaction is facilitated. This is a possible reason why Chlamydia is easily transmittable, as the interactions are thought to enable the connections between the infection and the host cells in the human body. A new treatment might use this information to tackle these connections and block the reception of the protein. Through this action, the infection might have trouble surviving in the host body.

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection and it often goes undetected as patients frequently exhibit no symptoms. We recommend regular testing every time you change partners to ensure that you do not have this infection. Online testing by post is available from The STI Clinic.

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