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Volume 2017, Article ID 1478625, 11 pages
Research Article

Lycopene Inhibits Propagation of Chlamydia Infection

1Gamaleya Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Ministry of Health, Moscow, Russia
2Lycotec Ltd., Granta Park Campus, Cambridge CB21 6GP, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Ivan M. Petyaev; moc.loa@53057bky

Received 14 February 2017; Accepted 11 June 2017; Published 29 August 2017

Academic Editor: Roland Bitsch

Copyright © 2017 Naylia A. Zigangirova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chlamydiaceae is a family of obligate intracellular pathogenic bacteria with similar developmental cycles and cell biology responsible for a wide range of diseases in different hosts including genital and eye inflammatory diseases, arthritis, and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In the present paper, we report that lycopene, one of the main dietary carotenoids, which is present in tomato and some other fruits, has a strong inhibitory effect on C. trachomatis and C. pneumoniae infections in alveolar macrophages. This finding was documented by both immunofluorescence analysis and electron microscopy. It was noted that lycopene treatment inhibited intracellular phase of the chlamydial developmental cycle and resulted in a significant loss of infectious progeny. The antichlamydial effect of lycopene was also confirmed in a clinical setting. There was a significant reduction of IgG antibodies against C. pneumoniae in the serum of volunteers treated for a month with oral ingestion of 7 mg of lycopene. Additional studies are needed to further explore the antichlamydial activity of lycopene and its possible effect on C. pneumoniae in relation to antichlamydial activity of lycopene to mechanisms of atherosclerosis.