What first comes into mind after listening to the name chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease or infection. Yes, it is correct that the particular bacteria that lead to Chlamydia rely on contact with other creatures for survival. So the finding of such bacteria in an extreme environment has surprised researchers. A team of scientists has found some new bacteria deep under the Arctic Ocean. Those viruses belong to the family of Chlamydia and have the potential to survive at places having no oxygen. Notably, this newly-found chlamydia species does not have an evident host organism.
Jennah Dharamshi, a student, doing a Ph.D. at Uppsala University, Sweden, is the leading author of the latest research. As per Jennah in finding the bacteria in such circumstances was entirely unpredicted. Even more, the discovery has resulted in a question, what is the Chlamydia doing here? The researchers came across several cousins of Chlamydia around 0.1-9.4 meters under the ocean floor. Even more, Jennah and the team have discovered the novel species having a close relationship with the bacteria, which causes STD. As they have not found other host organisms, researchers say the bacteria could be gaining energy from other microorganisms present deep in the sediment of the ocean. Jennah noted finding Chlamydia in ocean sediments has shed light on the evolution of chlamydial pathogens.
The research, published in the journal Current Biology last week, could offer new insights on how Chlamydia arrived to affect humans and other organisms. The researchers aim to grow these microbes in labs, as it may assist in finding how the bacteria-infected living organisms worldwide. Apart from this, the team suggests that bacteria, including Chlamydia, play a significant role in the marine ecosystem than formerly estimated. Currently, researchers are unaware of the role of the viruses in the ecology. Even more, the finding indicates that there could exist more such bacteria deep beneath the surface of the ocean.