Danish researchers are in the process of creating a vaccine against the most common venereal disease in the world, chlamydia. In 2017, there were over 200,000 cases in England alone.
For 15 years, various research teams have been working on creating a vaccine that can prevent the many cases of chlamydia that occur globally. A new study has now successfully completed the first phase in the efforts to create a vaccine and get it approved.
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is an infection that is transmitted primarily through unprotected sexual contact. Mothers who have chlamydia can also infect their children during childbirth. The symptoms of the infection typically appear one to three weeks after being infected in the form of urethritis among other things, which can cause discharge from the genitals and a burning sensation for both genders. However, in half of the cases, no symptoms appear, which can make the infection difficult to detect.
If chlamydia is detected and treated in time, it has no consequences. If, on the other hand, it is not detected in time, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease for women, which can prevent them from becoming pregnant at worst while men risk getting epididymitis.
Are there any side effects of the new chlamydia vaccine?
The study examined the effects of the vaccine on thirty healthy women while giving five additional women placebo drugs. None of the women who received the vaccine experienced any side effects other than immediate tenderness at the place where the vaccine was administered, which also occurred to a lesser extent for the women in the placebo group.
The study of the vaccine has only undergone the so-called phase 1 of the research and the aim of the study was merely to investigate whether the vaccine produced any side effects or not. This means that the test subjects have not been examined for the actual effect of the vaccine yet which will first happen later in the research process.
It will require several studies to establish whether the vaccine works or not and after that it must also be established how long it works. Is it a vaccine you only need to get once in a lifetime or would you need to receive it several times before you are protected?
One of the co-authors of the study has told videnskab.dk that it can take five to seven years for the vaccine to come on the market if everything goes well. It is also stated that while it has not yet been proven whether the test subjects are protected or not, the results from the test subjects’ mucous membrane hold promise of a protective vaccine against chlamydia being on the way.