In a huge new discovery, scientists may have just found a possible new vaccine for a very common sexually transmitted disease.
Chlamydia is a relatively common sexually transmitted infection that is mainly treatable and often doesn’t have any symptoms, but it has the potential to cause serious complications like reproductive issues and blindness. Researchers have recently discovered an antigen that has the potential to act as a vaccine against it, according to a McMaster University statement.
A total of 2.86 million people get infected with chlamydia annually that we know of, and there may be many more because many people don’t realize they have it because of its lack of symptoms, so this finding could have big ramifications for many, many people.
Vaccination would be the best way to prevent a chlamydia infection.
The study involved testing a fusion protein antigen called BD584 in mice. They found that it reduced chlamydial shedding in mice by 95 percent, totally clearing the infection. It also prevented a blocking of the fallopian tubes that is caused by the infection by 87.5 percent.
Scientists plan to test BD584 against other strains of chlamydia, hoping to create a vaccine that could be used in many situations.
“Vaccine development efforts in the past three decades have been unproductive and there is no vaccine approved for use in humans,” said David Bulir, co-author of the study, who just finished his PhD in medical sciences at McMaster. “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.”
Co-author and McMaster PhD student, Steven Liang, explains, “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.
“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,” he added.
Source: Morning Ticker