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NIH-funded researchers using a new labeling method have confirmed that Chlamydia bacteria contain – and in fact, cannot function without – the molecule peptidoglycan, a structural component found in the cell wall of most bacteria. This finding resolves the 50-year-old ‘chlamydial anomaly’: the fact that while chlamydia infections can be treated by antibiotics that block peptidoglycan, suggesting it is both present and essential, scientists had not been able to detect the molecule in the bacteria.
For more information on the researchers’ novel method and potential future directions, see the NIAID media availability: http://www.