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Chlamydia, the leading sexually-transmitted bacterial infection in the United States, can cause severe health disorders including inflammation of the cervix in women and the urethra in men; pelvic inflammatory disease; infertility and ectopic pregnancy; trachoma, a preventable, blinding disease in underdeveloped parts of the world; and an inflammatory reactive arthritis. A Wayne State University husband-wife team is leading research to elucidate the molecular details of the synovial, or joint-related, pathogenesis process elicited by Chlamydia trachomatis, (C trachomatis), as well as developing a vaccine to protect against infection. Alan Hudson, Ph.D. and Judith Whittum- Hudson, Ph.D., both professors of immunology and microbiology in the Wayne State University School of Medicine, have discovered that C trachomatis can generate persistent, difficult to detect infections of the synovium, the thin layer of tissue which lines the joint space, causing reactive arthritis. Until recently, such persistent infections had proven resistant to antibiotics and other relevant therapies.