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Search Program Faculty/Research

Guangming Zhong, M.D., Ph.D.



The research objectives of the Zhong lab are to understand the mechanisms of microbial interactions with their host tissues so that strategies can be developed for manipulating the microbial interactions to benefit human health. We have been using the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia to interact with host reproductive and gastrointestinal tract tissues as models to map chlamydial virulence/colonization factors and protective antigens and to determine host pathways/effectors involved in the interactions.

Specific ongoing projects include: 1) Investigating whether and how the genital chlamydial spreading into the gastrointestinal tract can impact chlamydial induction of fibrosis in the upper genital tract. 2) Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which the gastrointestinal chlamydia-induced immunity protects against subsequent chlamydial challenge infections in extra-gut tissues but without affecting chlamydial colonization in the gut. 3) Investigating the impacts of gut microbiota on extra-gut tissue pathologies. 4) Developing Chlamydia as an intracellular oral delivery vehicle. 

 Selected Publications

Zhong G. 2017. Chlamydia Spreading from the Genital Tract to the Gastrointestinal Tract - A Two-Hit Hypothesis. Trends Microbiol. 2017 Dec 27. pii: S0966-842X(17)30274-3. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2017.12.002. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID:29289422

Wang L, Zhu C, Zhang T, Tian Q, Zhang N, Morrison S, Morrison R, Xue M, Zhong G. 2017. Non-pathogenic colonization with <i>Chlamydia</i> in the gastrointestinal tract as oral vaccination for inducing transmucosal protection. Infect Immun. 2017 Nov 13. pii: IAI.00630-17. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00630-17. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:29133348

Zhong G, Brunham RC, de la Maza LM, Darville T, Deal C. 2017. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases workshop report: "Chlamydia vaccines: The way forward". Vaccine. 2017 Oct 31. pii: S0264-410X(17)31483-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.10.075. [Epub ahead of print. PMID:29097007

Brothwell JA, Muramatsu MK, Zhong G, Nelson DE. 2017. Advances and Obstacles in the Genetic Dissection of Chlamydial Virulence. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2017 Nov 1. doi: 10.1007/82_2017_76. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:29090367

Shao L, Zhang T, Melero J, Huang Y, Liu Y, Liu Q, He C, Nelson DE, Zhong G. 2017. The Genital Tract Virulence Factor pGP3 Is Essential for Chlamydia muridarum Colonization in the Gastrointestinal Tract. Infect Immun. 2017 Dec 19;86(1). pii: e00429-17. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00429-17. Print 2018 Jan. PMID:29038127

Pal S, Tifrea DF, Zhong G, de la Maza LM. 2017. Transcervical Inoculation with Chlamydia trachomatis Induces Infertility in HLA-DR4 Transgenic and Wild-Type Mice. Infect Immun. 2017 Dec 19;86(1). pii: e00722-17. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00722-17. Print 2018 Jan. PMID:29038126

Fan H, Zhong G. 2017: beginning of a new era for Chlamydia research in China and the rest of the world.Microbes Infect. 2017 Oct 6. pii: S1286-4579(17)30153-3. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2017.09.009. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:28988996

Sun X, Tian Q, Wang L, Xue M, Zhong G. 2017. IL-6-mediated signaling pathways limit Chlamydia muridarum infection and exacerbate its pathogenicity in the mouse genital tract. Microbes Infect. 2017 Nov;19(11):536-545. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2017.08.007. Epub 2017 Aug 31. PMID:28864426

Zhang Y, Shao L, Li X, Zhong G. 2017.Uterotubal junction prevents chlamydial ascension via innate immunity. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 10;12(8):e0183189. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183189. eCollection 2017. PMID:28797102

Shao L, Zhang T, Liu Q, Wang J, Zhong G. 2017. Chlamydia muridarum with Mutations in Chromosomal Genes <i>tc0237</i> and/or <i>tc0668</i> Is Deficient in Colonizing the Mouse Gastrointestinal Tract. Infect Immun. 2017 Jul 19;85(8). pii: e00321-17. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00321-17. Print 2017 Aug. PMID:28584162.

Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics


Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Manitoba, 1991

M.S., Microbiology, Hunan Medical University, 1986

M.D., Preventive Medicine, Hunan Medical University, 1983



Phone: (210) 567-1169

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