(HealthDay News) — A vaccine to help protect against chlamydia is proving to be effective, according to an experimental study published in the July 25 issue of Vaccine.
To develop the vaccine, James Mahony, Ph.D., of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues focused on the protein secretion system used by chlamydia to invade cells. Out of 20 different proteins involved in the secretion system, the researchers identified three that are crucial to the process.
A vaccine created from these three proteins proved highly effective in protecting female mice from chlamydia, the researchers found. “The vaccine reduced the amount of bacteria in the vagina by about 95 percent” in the rodents, Mahony told HealthDay. “More importantly, it reduced the pathology in the fallopian tubes by about 85 percent, which is quite remarkable. That’s probably enough to prevent infertility.”
The team plans to perform a follow-up study in guinea pigs, and another in monkeys, before moving on to human trials, Mahony said. It will be at least four to five years before the vaccine can be tested in humans.