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The occurrence and pathology of chlamydiosis in the male reproductive tract of non-human mammals: A review

  • Pagliarani, Sara
  • Johnston, Stephen D.
  • Beagley, Kenneth W.
  • Dief, Hamdy
  • Palmieri, Chiara
Publication Date
Sep 15, 2020
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


Organisms belonging to the Family Chlamydiaceae are responsible for a broad range of diseases in humans, livestock, companion animals and non-domestic species. Infection of the reproductive organs can cause a range of syndromes of which sub- and infertility are the most frequently observed clinical manifestations. While the gross and histological lesions associated with the isolation of Chlamydiaceae from the non-human female reproductive tract are well documented, little attention has been given to the pathological effects of this infection in the male genital system. As such, the occurrence and importance of Chlamydia-associated disease in male non-human mammalian species is less well documented. In order to improve our understanding of the significance of chlamydiosis in domestic, laboratory and wild animals, this review provides an up-to-date summary of Chlamydia-associated male reproductive pathology, whether that infection occurs naturally or experimentally. Although most lesions in males are described as incidental and of minor significance, results of recent studies suggest that infection with Chlamydiaceae can adversely impact male fertility and/or be instrumental in disease transmission. Although in humans, bulls and mice Chlamydia infection has been associated with morphological and functional abnormalities of the spermatozoa, this review will focus on the gross and histological findings linked to the colonisation of the genital system by this pathogen. Advances in our understanding of male reproductive chlamydiosis are necessary for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, as well as epidemiological and conservation studies.

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