Scientists Concoct A Chlamydia Vaccine That May Prevent Other STIs [Study]

Until now, Chlamydia could only be cured, but scientists may have discovered a vaccine to prevent the disease altogether. What makes this new vaccine special is that the McMaster University scientists who concocted it claim that Chlamydia is only one of many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that the vaccine prevents.

The problem with Chlamydia is that, although it is very easy to cure, when left untreated, it can lead to serious symptoms. The STI usually results in genital tract infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even infertility for women. Chlamydia reportedly affects 100 million people worldwide, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most people who have Chlamydia don’t know it.

It has been reported that about 2.86 million people get infected with Chlamydia annually. In light of these high numbers, researchers believe that vaccination is the best option for STI prevention. One of the researchers of the McMaster Chlamydia study, David Bulir, Ph.D., stated just how important he believes the Chlamydia vaccination is.

“Vaccine development efforts in the past three decades have been unproductive and there is no vaccine approved for use in humans. Vaccination would be the best way to way to prevent a chlamydia infection, and this study has identified important new antigens which could be used as part of a vaccine to prevent or eliminate the damaging reproductive consequences of untreated infections.”

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In the study, which was recently published in the journal Vaccine, the research showed just how effective a Chlamydia vaccine could be in STI prevention. According to the recent press release, the researchers prove that a peculiar Chlamydia antigen called BD584 is a viable vaccine for the most common form of Chlamydia, Chlamydia Trachomatis.

To test the effectiveness of the new vaccine, researchers from McMaster University administered the cocktail to mice. This test showed that shedding caused by Chlamydia decreased by 95 percent, which means the infection was completed gone. During the testing phase, the vaccine also prevented infertility from chlamydial infection by 87.5 percent.

Scientists now plan to test the vaccine against other strains of chlamydia to make it more potent, in order to prevent Chlamydia and its damaging symptoms.

Past studies have looked into other ways of preventing Chlamydia and other STIs. One showed that inconsistencies with STIs testing resulted in many people experiencing aftershock symptoms and permanent disabilities, like infertility. Other studies insinuated that the PorB protein found in Chlamydia Trachomatis was the key to developing a vaccine in the future. The latest study offers a more evidential solution to the worldwide Chlamydia problem.

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It is the not merely the disease but also the aftermath of contracting Chlamydia that the scientists consider being especially important. Co-author of the McMaster study, Ph.D. student Steven Liang, stated, “not only is the vaccine effective, it also has the potential to be widely protective against all C. trachomatis strains, including those that cause trachoma.” In this way, the vaccine is notably innovative. But the true innovation lies in the modernized vaccine itself. In the press release, Liang explains.

“The vaccine would be administered through the nose. This is easy and painless and does not require highly trained health professionals to administer, and that makes it an inexpensive solution for developing nations.”

The fact that the vaccine can be administered nasally makes it, according to Fox News, an easy and cost-effective way to treat the common STI. With very little doubt, the researchers of the study believe that the vaccine can efficiently prevent many STIs, including Chlamydia, and treat the different strains of Chlamydia.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]