Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the world. There are 131 million new cases every year, according to Imperial College London, with as many as three-quarters showing no symptoms. However it can cause infertility if left untreated. The researchers, from Imperial College London, UK, and the Statens Serum Institut , Denmark, acknowledge that the development of the vaccine has a long way to go.
« This means that we have come a lot closer to a vaccine against chlamydia.» This is the first clinical trial for a vaccine for genital chlamydia and represents the latest development in 15 years of research, according to an SSI statement. However there remains a lot of work to be done, according to study author Robin Shattock of Imperial College. 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 health through vertical transmission, and increased susceptibility to other sexually transmitted diseases, a global unmet medical need exists for a vaccine against genital chlamydia,» said study author Peter Andersen of SSI.
«It depends a lot on how much funding is available to continue with the vaccine development which will get more expensive at every stage,» said Gilbert. While it is scientifically possible for a vaccine to be made available in five years, it is common for vaccines to spend 10 or 20 years in development, she explained. It also depends on the manufacturing capacity of SSI, which produced the vaccine used in the trial. An average of one in every 25 people globally has at least one of these STIs, according to the WHO.
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