Innovation

Chlamydia Vaccine Could Help Contain Most Common Bacterial STI Spread

Following a very successful early trial, scientists were recently able to take a rather sizable and significant step towards finally developing a definitive vaccine for the STD Chlamydia.

Made by a team of British and Danish scientists, the vaccine that was developed proved to be effective after an early controlled trial that involved 35 women, with the results published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Throughout the last decade, Chlamydia cases have steadily risen, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world today that is able to cause infertility if left untreated. Unfortunately, between home remedies and a few antibiotics, the cases have still managed to shoot up, resulting in around 131 million new cases at a yearly level.  Furthermore, per the Imperial College London, around three quarters (or more) of these cases show no symptoms at all, making it an even bigger problem.

Vaccine Development

According to the researchers, who are from Imperial College London, U.K. and Statens Serum Institut, Denmark, the vaccine still has a long way to go before it actually gets developed. Following that however, controlled early trials provided the immune response they were hoping to get. On top of that, there weren’t any serious side effects on the women who participated in the trial.

"The most important result is that we have seen protective antibodies against chlamydia in the genital tracts . Our initial trials show them preventing the chlamydia bacteria from penetrating the cells of the body. This means that we have come a lot closer to a vaccine against Chlamydia,” study author Frank Follmann of SSI, said.

The authors however, are aware that further trials are needed to ensure its efficacy.

"The next step is to take the vaccine forward to further trials, but until that's done, we won't know whether it is truly protective or not," study author Robin Shattock of Imperial College, said.

Furthermore, vaccines typically spend around 10-20 years in development even though it can be made scientifically available in around five years. This is because there are other factors that come into play, such as funding for the development, which gets more expensive at every stage.

STD 218,710 cases of chlamydia were recorded in 2017 with young women making up a majority of cases. Viliman Viliman/Unsplash

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