POTENTIAL ROLE OF CHLAMYDIA PNEUMONIAE IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS. Gregory L. Alberts, Charles W. Stratton, William M. Mitchell, Jenny J. Franke. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
INTRODUCTION: Chlamydia pneumoniae is now recognized as an important human pathogen. As an obligate intracellular parasite, it is difficult to detect by routine cultures, can cause chronic infections, and may not elicit an acute inflammatory response. C. pneumoniae is commonly associated with respiratory tract infection, but has also been implicated in the development of coronary artery plaques and chronic inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Our recent data using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of urine revealed that 71% of patients with interstitial cystitis (IC) were positive for C. pneumoniae. These data suggest a potential role for this organism in the development of IC. We present our data using tissue culture detection of C. pneumoniae in both control patients and patients with interstitial cystitis to further investigate this association.