Danish researchers are on the verge of a breakthrough in the hunt for a successful vaccine against chlamydia, Politiken reported Monday.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) have developed a vaccine that has proven effective in mice and pigs and is now being tested on primates in France.
“We have succeeded in finding the chlamydia bacteria’s Achilles heel and aiming a powerful attack against it from the body’s own immune system. It works in mice and pigs, and we are so optimistic that we are already preparing a human trial,” SSI research leader Peter Lawætz Andersen told Politiken.
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that affects over 100 million people worldwide each year, including around 30,000 Danes.
Among Danes, it is primarily young people under the age of 25 who get infected though the number has been on the wane in recent years. Between 2008 and 2013, the number of 15 to 19-year-old Danish girls infected with chlaymdia dropped by 38 percent. Among boys of the same age, infections decreased by 30 percent.
Most people infected with chlamydia display no symptoms, but it can pose risks to women’s reproductive systems that make it difficult or impossible to get pregnant.
“Our hope is that with our newly-developed vaccine, we can make people’s immune systems ready for action when the chlamydia bacteria announces its arrival after intercourse. It will be a major step in the fight against this widely spread sexual disease and could help prevent childlessness as a result of an infection,” Andersen said.
The results of the Danish research have just been published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.