Photo: Dr. med. E. Arum, dr. The bacterial disease Chlamydia has come a lot closer to reality. On Monday, researchers reported that two of their vaccine candidates were found safe in a Phase 1 clinical trial involving 35 women. Although the efficacy of the study should not be proven, the vaccines appeared to elicit an immune response to the bacteria in all subjects.
Chlamydia trachomatis or simply Chlamydia, is said to have caused at least 127 million In 2016 alone, according to the World Health Organization, there was a new infection second only to that caused by the parasite trichomoniasis. In the United States, it caused nearly 3 million new infections in 2017, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People with chlamydia often do not know that they have it because many have no symptoms. But it can cause painful or bloody urination as well as genital discharge. If not treated, it can lead to more serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, arthritis and even infertility. Carriers are also more susceptible to catching other venereal diseases, including HIV.
Chlamydia are almost always treatable with antibiotics. But antibiotic resistance is on the horizon for her and other common STDs, including gonorrhea. So a vaccine would be invaluable and up to date. The rates of chlamydia and sexually transmitted diseases in the US in general have risen steadily, reaching a record high in 2017.
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The two Vaccine candidates developed by researchers from the UK and Denmark are based on the genetically engineered version of a major protein found on the surface of the bacteria. They differ in the other ingredients used to boost a person's immune response to the vaccine, so-called adjuvants.
In the study, the team administered 30 healthy women, living in Britain, one or two vaccines (evenly divided) and five other women on placebo. For a period of four months, women were given a vaccine or a placebo three times. In the last month, the treatment was done twice with a nasal spray instead. By the end of the study, 32 women had taken all five doses, although all women's data were included in the final results.
Some scientists have suggested that a nasal spray vaccine against chlamydia could better train the immune system. This is mainly because the bacteria invade areas of the body that are covered with mucus, such as mucus. In our throats and genitals.
According to team results published on Monday in the Lancet, there were no serious side effects or nasal spray on either shot. Vaccine recipients reported more irritation at the site of the shot more frequently than those who took a placebo, but did not report more side effects of the nasal spray compared to the shot.
Regardless of the vaccine taken, the women reported an immune response to chlamydia based on blood tests and vaginal mucus. However, one of the vaccines was packaged with an investigational adjuvant called CAF01, developed by the researchers. Their previous research had shown that CAF01 could improve the efficacy of their chlamydia vaccine (as well as vaccines against other diseases, including tuberculosis). And in this study, the CAF01 chlamydia vaccine appeared to produce a faster and more consistent immune response in volunteers.
"The vaccine showed the exact immune response that we had hoped for and that we have seen in our animal studies," said senior study Frank Follmann, director of the Division of Immunology Against Infectious Diseases at the Statens Serum Institute in Denmark, in a statement by the Department of Immunology Institute. "The most important result is that we have seen protective antibodies against Chlamydia in the genital tract."
The team has spent 15 years developing a vaccine. But with these encouraging results, they hope to push things forward.
"Research shows that the combination of antibodies and T cells protects against chlamydia but of course we need to test the vaccine in larger and longer-term clinical trials to see if it protects against infection. Given the results, we have accelerated our further clinical trials, "said Follmann.