<< Back

2021 Alzheimer's Association Research Grant (AARG)

Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection Accelerated Alzheimer’s Disease

Does bacterial infection affect the progression of Alzheimer’s?

Timothy Crother, Ph.D.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA - United States


Recent studies suggests there may be a connection between infections and the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s. For instance, some work has suggested that Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae), bacteria responsible for common pneumonia, may be associated with Alzheimer’s- related In addition, researchers have identified the presence of C. pneumoniae bacteria in the brains and antibodies to this bacteria in some individuals with Alzheimer’s. These past studies have suggested an association, but the biological mechanisms by which C. pneumoniae may impact brain changes observed in Alzheimer’s is not  known.

Research Plan

Dr. Timothy Crother and colleagues will use their expertise in infectious diseases to study genetically engineered Alzheimer’s-like mice exposed to C. pneumoniae. The researchers will study whether or how the infection may impact disease-related brain changes inthese mice. The researchers will also study whether giving antibiotics – typically used for treatment of the illness caused by this bacterium – to these mice, during or after the infection affects the brain changes and cognition in these Alzheimer’s-like mice.

Studies show that individuals with Alzheimer’s have increased levels of brain inflammation. As a result, Dr. Crother’s team will also study the levels of proteins related to brain inflammation in the Alzheimer’s-like mice after infection. Dr. Crother believes that exposure to C. pneumoniae may impact progression of Alzheimer’s in these mice through brain changes such as brain inflammation.


The study results may provide insights into underlying biology links of bacterial infection and mechanisms in Alzheimer’s.  If successful, the results may give rise to potential therapy strategies to tackle Alzheimer’s.

Back to Top