Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-15-2022


Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the causative pathogen for the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection worldwide and can cause serious medical consequences in women, including pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. For these reasons, a Ct vaccine is urgently needed, yet, its development remains a significant challenge. One barrier to producing a Ct vaccine is the gap in knowledge of protective immune responses for Ct infection, including the role that antibodies may play. Therefore, I aimed to characterize the human antibody response to natural urogenital Ct infection in women using Deep Sequence-Coupled Biopanning. Further, I leveraged these findings to engineer novel Ct vaccines targeting epitopes of three adhesion factors [the Major Outer Membrane Protein (MOMP), outer membrane complex protein B (OmcB), and polymorphic membrane protein D (PmpD)] using the bacteriophage Qb virus-like particle vaccine platform. I found that these vaccines were efficacious via in vitro assays to investigate antibody functionality and in vivo murine challenge models.


chlamydia, vaccine, virus-like particle, sexually transmitted infection, vaccinology, antibody

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Kathryn M. Frietze, PhD

Second Committee Member

Bryce Chackerian, PhD

Third Committee Member

Judy Cannon, PhD

Fourth Committee Member

Thomas Byrd, MD