With 2.86 million people or more contracting chlamydia every year, this new potential vaccine could prevent damaging reproductive problems cause by the silent STI
As sexually-transmitted infections go, chlamydia is not only easy to contract but often goes unnoticed due to its lack of symptoms. As a result, if not treated, reproductive issues can develop such as infertility and blindness meaning getting rid of it at an early stage is crucial.
Researchers from McMaster University may have found an effective antigen named BD584 that could be used as a vaccine to prevent the adverse effects of the STI in people who don’t realize they have contracted it. According to a UPI report, around 2.86 million people catch chlamydia every year although this figure could be higher since many are not aware they have the disease and therefore don’t get tested.
The research team, led by David Bulir, used the antigen on mice and found it reduced the symptoms of chlamydia by up to 95 percent when compared to mice who didn’t receive the antigen. One of the most damaging effects of chlamydia is hydrosalpinx which is when the fallopian tubes are blocked by serous fluids and can cause infertility in women. In the experiment, BD584 reduced this by 87.5 percent.
“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,” said Bulir in a press release.
Although still in the experimental stage, this could potentially help millions of people. The team say they are still testing the antigen against different strains of chlamydia as well as different formulations of the vaccine so it can be used in a wider healthcare environment.
For those worried about needles, there’s good news – it will most likely be administered through the nose in the form of a spray.
“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.,” Bulir says.
Details of the study were published in the journal Vaccine.