Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) have made a breakthrough in the hunt for a vaccine against the sexually-transmitted disease chlamydia.
The team of researchers have managed to develop a vaccine that works effectively on mice and pigs, which is now being tested on apes in France.
“We’ve successfully managed to develop a new type of vaccine that hits the bacteria where it hurts the most, and which attacks with T-cells and antibodies,” said Peter Lawætz Andersen, the head of research at SSI.
“The result is a very effective immune defence that stops the bacteria before it does any damage while reducing the risk of infecting others.”
100 million infected annually
The researchers are so optimistic about the breakthrough – just published in the scientific journal The Journal of Infectious Diseases – that they have begun preparations on humans.
“We have detailed data from animal testing over the past four years and will be ready for human trials in 2016 in collaboration with a joint European research team,” said Frank Follmann, a project leader with SSI.
Chlamydia is a sexually-transmitted bacteria that infects over 100 million people worldwide annually – 25,000 to 30,000 of whom are Danes mostly aged 15-25.
The bacteria can lead to infertility in women if the infection isn’t treated with antibiotics in time.