Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) bacterium in the world. There are 131 million new cases every year, according to Imperial College London, with three quarters showing no symptoms. However, it can cause infertility if left untreated.
Researchers at Imperial College London, UK and the State Serum Institute (SSI), Denmark, acknowledge that the development of the vaccine has come a long way. However, this led to the immune response they were hoping for, and none of the women developed serious side effects.
"The most important result is that we have seen protective antibodies against chlamydia in the genital tract," study author Frank Folman of SSI said in a statement.
"Our initial studies have shown that they prevent chlamydia bacteria from penetrating the cells of the body. This means that we have come very close to the chlamydia vaccine. "
This is the first clinical trial for genital chlamydia vaccine and represents the latest development in 1
However, much work remains to be done, according to research author Robin Shatok of Imperial College.
"The next step is to take the vaccine further, but until that is done, we will not know if it is truly protective or not," he said in a statement from Imperial College.
Diagnostic tests and antibiotic treatments are available, but national treatment programs have had little effect in combating the global chlamydia epidemic, according to a press release from The Lancet. The study's authors suggest that the vaccine may be the best way to fight infection.
One in six women infected with chlamydia develops pelvic inflammatory disease that can lead to chronic pelvic pain , ectopic pregnancy or infertility.
Chlamydia infection increases susceptibility to other STIs and infection during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and preterm birth, according to the statement.
"Given the impact of the chlamydia epidemic on women's health, reproductive health, infant vertical health and increased susceptibility to other sexually transmitted diseases, there is a global unmet medical need for ts for genital chlamydia vaccine "says study author Peter Andersen of SSI.
Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccines at Oxford University who did not participate in the study, stated that further research was needed as this study seems primarily to be about the safety of the vaccine in healthy adults.
"More studies will be needed to determine whether these immune responses are able to prevent chlamydia infection in people who have been exposed," Gilbert told CNN.
clearly how quickly a chlamydia vaccine can be used in the general population, according to Gilbert.
"Much depends on how much funding is available to continue developing the vaccine, which will go up at any stage," says Gilbert
Although it is scientifically possible for the vaccine to be available after five years, it is usually vaccines to spend 10 or 20 years in development, she explained.
This also depends on the production capacity of the SSI that produced the vaccine used in the test.
"Will they be able to produce enough to put the vaccine on the market or will it have to be transferred to another manufacturer?" said Gilbert.
"This will have implications for the timing of the licensing of vaccines."
The four infections are chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis (or "trichia") and syphilis.
On average, one in every 25 people in the world has at least one of these STIs, according to the WHO.