Chlamydia sex infection vaccine passes safety test

13 Août, 2019, 17:36 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • An image of coloured condoms

U.S. sexually transmitted illness diagnoses have reached new highs for the past four years in a row, and chlamydia is responsible for the bulk of those infections: 1.7 million cases were diagnosed in 2017 alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to about 550,000 cases of gonorrhea, 40,000 cases of HIV and 30,000 cases of syphilis.

"Given the impact of the chlamydia epidemic on women's health, infant health through transmission, and increased susceptibility to other sexual diseases, a global unmet medical need exists for a vaccine", co-author Peter Andersen, a professor in the Department of Infectious Disease Immunology at Imperial College London, said in a statement.

One of the problems we see is that people get repeatedly re-infected.

The expert added: "If you could introduce a protective vaccine, you could break that cycle".

In the trial, the authors aimed to assess the safety and ability to provoke an immune response, in humans, of a new chlamydia vaccine CTH522 based on the major outer membrane protein of the C trachomatis bacterium.

The first chlamydia vaccine encouragingly triggered an immune response in women during preliminary clinical trials and was found to be safe, researchers said Tuesday.

A vaccine to protect against chlamydia has moved closer to becoming reality after a pioneering clinical trial found the treatment to be safe. However, as many as 3 out of 4 infections are symptomless, so the number of cases is likely to be underestimated.

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Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI in the world and accounts for nearly half of all sex-related infections in England. PID is associated with an increased risk of tubal factor infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. Thus, it is this version of the vaccine the researchers hope to take to the next stage.

"The major issue with chlamydia is the long-term consequences", explained Professor Shattock.

If the "phase two" trials are successful, scientists would then set up a final round of tests. "Although clinical vaccine testing for chlamydia is in its infancy, this trial suggests optimism for the future". The 35 women not infected with chlamydia included in the trial were randomly assigned to three different groups: 15 participants received the vaccine with liposomes, 15 received the vaccine with aluminium hydroxide, and 5 received saline solution (placebo). The vaccinations, but not the placebo, produced an immune response.

All of the vaccinated women - 30 out of 30 - showed an immune response. The group is now planning phase 2 trials.

The research was made possible through grants from the European Commission. "We have a wealth of world-leading expertise in the United Kingdom, with our scientists working to tackle infections, and to discover and develop new vaccines".

"It's not just about the funding, it's about being part of these larger projects that bring together companies and academics and a much wider portfolio of experience, technology and expertise to solve global health problems".

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