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Chlamydia vaccine shows promise in early trial stages


A pap smear showing chlamydia in the vacuoles at 500x and stained. (Media for Medical/Universal Images Group via Getty)

A chlamydia vaccine shows promise in early trial stages, according to a new study.

Published Monday in the medical journal The Lancet, the study showed how the phase-1 trial of the chlamydia vaccine tested in 35 women shows promise.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. It often causes no symptoms, but left untreated, can cause complications including pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility, according to the CDC.

Infections are treated with antibiotics, but there is currently no approved vaccine to prevent the disease. It the most common STDs, and it is estimated that one in 20 sexually active females aged 14 to 24 has the infection.

The study tested the vaccine in 35 women, and found no serious side effects, according to a statement released Tuesday from Statens Serum Institut, who completed the trials alongside the Imperial College London.

”The vaccine showed the exact immune response we had hoped for and which we have seen in our animal tests. 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,” Frank Follmann, head of department at SSI said in a statement.

Blood samples taken during the trial showed the vaccinated women had generated antibodies and T cells against chlamydia, Follman said.

"During the trial, we collected mucous secretion in a menstrual cup and found high levels of antibodies, including the special mucosal antibody, IgA, which effectively blocks Chlamydia early in the course of infection,” Follmann said in a statement.

Researchers will continue testing the vaccine in clinical trials, and work to determine if it will prevent infection from chlamydia in “the real world.” If successful, researchers hope to combine the chlamydia vaccine with the HPV vaccine, which has proved successful, Professor Peter L. Andersen, Head of SSI’s Center for Vaccine Research said in a statement.