Danes develop effective chlamydia vaccine

A team from the University of Copenhagen and the Danish State Serum Institute are preparing human trials for a promising vaccine against a disease that infects over 100 million people each year.

Danes develop effective chlamydia vaccine
In Denmark, it is primarily young people who get infected with chlaymdia. Photo: Colourbox
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. 

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Danish health chief gives OK to lockdown love: ‘Sex is good. Sex is healthy’

Denmark's health chief has made it clear that Denmark's strict approach to social distancing does not extend to sex, either casual or in a steady relationship.

Danish health chief gives OK to lockdown love: 'Sex is good. Sex is healthy'
Søren Brostrøm puts some of Danes' worries to rest during Monday's press conference. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix
At a press conference on Monday, Søren Brostrøm, The Director General of the Danish Health Authority, said that even singles who have a relatively high number of different sexual partners should not feel inhibited by social distancing measures. 
“Sex is good. Sex is healthy. We are sexual beings, and of course you can have sex in this situation,” he said. “As with any other human contact, there is a risk of infection. But of course one must be able to have sex.” 
Coronavirus enters the respiratory tract by the inhalation of droplets, and is not spread via semen or vaginal fluid, but the physical closeness involved in sex clearly brings a risk of inhaling the virus. 
Kåre Mølbak, professional director at Denmark's SSI infectious diseases agency, said that the social distancing guidelines in Denmark should nonetheless not discourage either dating or full-blown sexual encounters. 
“I don't think there is a ban on meeting. That is only in relation to larger assemblies. So in that way, I think there is still the opportunity to have that kind of contact, and especially with a permanent partner,” he said.