The replication of serovar K was studied in human peripheral blood monocytes (PBMo). The intracellular fate of the bacteria was examined by determining the presence of chlamydial major outer-membrane protein (MOMP), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). In-vitro infection of PBMo with serovar K was not productive. However, chlamydial MOMP antigen, demonstrated by immunofluorescence, was present in PBMo for up to 14 days. Infected monocytes also contained chlamydial rRNA, measured by in-vitro hybridisation, and LPS, measured by enzyme immunoassay, for up to 14 days. These data are compatible with the hypothesis that the infection of PBMo with may play a role in the systemic distribution of chlamydial antigens, leading to systemic manifestations of urogenital chlamydial infection.


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