Science has moved a step closer to protecting people against chlamydia following a clinical trial of a new vaccine, according to a new report.
The vaccine was the first of its kind to enter into human trials.
Writing in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, the report stated that “chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection worldwide”.
It went on to explain that, despite national screening programmes and antibiotic treatment, occurrence of the infection has not decreased and that “to date, no vaccines against genital chlamydia have been tested in clinical trials”.
In the human trials, women received three injections into their arm over the course of four months. This was followed by two doses of the vaccine which was administered through a nasal spray in the weeks after.
Dr Frank Follmann, co-author of the study and head of chlamydia vaccine research at Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, noted that the study revealed that the injection alone could potentially provide enough protection by itself, without the need for the nasal spray.
The human trials
Between 15 August 2016 and 13 February 2017, 35 women were randomly assigned into three groups – some receiving the vaccine and some with a saline solution placebo.
They found that there were “no related serious adverse reactions” and that the most frequent of the side effects were all “mild local injection-site reactions”.
Their findings showed that the vaccines “appears to be safe and well tolerated” and holds promise for “further clinical development”.
Why does there need to be a vaccine?
Chlamydia can currently be treated with antibiotics successfully, but due to the fact that the infection can often present without symptoms, many people are left aware that they might have it.
Follmann said, “Chlamydia is a hidden epidemic. It is very well adapted to infecting both men and women and in most cases it does it without any symptoms.”
Without treatment, it can lead to longer time health complications for both men and women.
The NHS lists the following:
- Infertility issues for men and women
- Reactive arthritis, which can affect your joints, eyes and urethra
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pregnancy complications, like increasing the risk of your baby being born prematurely
This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News