Behind the Chlamydial Cloak: The Replication Cycle of Chlamydiaphage Chp2, Revealed

Virology. 2008 Aug 1;377(2):440-5. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.05.001.


Studying the replication of the chlamydiaphages presents significant challenges. Their host bacteria, chlamydiae, have a unique obligate intracellular developmental cycle. Using qPCR, immunochemistry, and electron microscopy, the life cycle of chlamydiaphage Chp2 was characterised. Chp2 infection has a dramatic inhibitory effect on bacterial cell division. The RB to EB transition is arrested and RBs enlarge without further division. There is a phase of rapid Chp2 genome replication 36 to 48 h post infection that is coincident with the expression of viral proteins and the replication of the host chromosome. The end stage of Chp2 replication is characterised by the appearance of paracrystalline structures followed by bacterial cell lysis. These data indicate that the Chp2 life cycle is closely coordinated with the developmental cycle of its bacterial host. This is a remarkable adaptation by a microvirus to infect and replicate in a bacterial host that has an obligate intracellular developmental cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line
  • Chlamydophila / growth & development
  • Chlamydophila / virology*
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Viral / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Microviridae / genetics
  • Microviridae / physiology*


  • DNA, Viral