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Scientists Develop First Widely Protective Vaccine Against Chlamydia

Jul 21, 2016 12:11 AM EDT
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Scientists from the McMaster University have successfully developed the first widely protective vaccine against the most common specie of Chlamydia known as Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that is mostly asymptomatic but affects 113 million people around the world. If left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to upper genital tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. There has been no approved vaccine against Chlamydia and vaccine developments in the past three years have been unproductive. That is why their latest discovery would be extremely beneficial.

"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," explained David Bulir, a PhD graduate at McMasters and co-author of the study, in a statement.

The researchers explored the potential of the novel chlamydial antigen known as BD584 as a vaccine candidate against C. trachomatis.

According to their findings published in the journal Vaccine, the researchers discovered that BD584 was able to reduce two symptoms of C. trachomatis. The first symptom, chlamidial shedding was reduced by 95 percent, while the other symptom which involves fallopian tubes being blocked with serous fluids or hydrosalpinx was decreased by 87.5 percent.

Furthermore, BD584 has also proven to be capable of preventing other strains of C. trachomatis, including those that cause trachoma, an eye infection caused by Chlamydia.

The new vaccine will be administered through the nose, making easier and less painful. It also does not require highly trained health professionals to be administered.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.86 million people in the United States is being infected with Chlamydia every year, with almost two-thirds of new infections occur among youth aged 15 to 24 years. CDC also estimates that one in 20 sexually active young women between 14 and 24 years of age has Chlamydia.

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