Chlamydia Pneumonia Infection and Incidence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Luba Robman, MBBS, PhD Centre for Eye Research Australia, The University of Melbourne

Project Details

Recent studies have indicated an inflammatory component in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is biologically plausible that such an inflammation is either caused by or aggravated in the presence of chronic infection. Two cross-sectional studies have demonstrated the prevalence of antibodies to Chlamydia pneumonia elementary bodies to be significantly higher in subjects with AMD compared to age matched controls. Dr. Robman believes that Chlamydia pneumonia infection may play a causal role in the development of AMD and therefore aims to test an association between exposure to the Chlamydia pneumonia infection and the incidence of early AMD. If the causative link between Chlamydia pneumonia infection and development of AMD is confirmed, long-term clinical trials of antibiotic therapy will be necessary to confirm or refute a pathogenic role for these organisms.