First vaccine for genital chlamydia shows promise in early clinical trials

The first-ever early clinical trial for a vaccine for genital chlamydia has shown it to be safe and effective at provoking an immune response.


Genital Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), passed through unprotected sex and particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults.

In particular, it is a bacterial infection that usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids.

While infection can often be treated with antibiotics, yet complications can include inflammation, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, arthritis, and even an increased susceptibility to other STIs, including HIV.

In the most recent trial, scientists thought about two distinct formulations of the new immunization to inspect which would perform better. The 35 ladies not tainted with chlamydia incorporated into the preliminary were randomly appointed to three different groups: 15 participants got the immunization with liposomes, 15 received the vaccine with aluminum hydroxide, and 5 got a saline solution (placebo).

Altogether, members got five immunizations with three intramuscular injections in the arm over several months, trailed by two intranasal boosts.

Both formulations of the vaccine provoked an immune response in 100% of members, while no members in the placebo group accomplished an immune response.

Albeit the two definitions of the immunization were found to incite an immune response, the new liposomes reliably performed better and delivered more antibodies, so the authors propose this plan ought to be pursued after for further clinical development.

Scientists highlight that the work is ‘important first step’ but add that further trials are now needed to determine whether the immune response provoked by the vaccine will effectively protect against chlamydia infection.

Professor Robin Shattock, Head of Mucosal Infection and Immunity within the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial said, “The findings are encouraging as they show the vaccine is safe and produces the type of immune response that could potentially protect against chlamydia.”

“The next step is to take the vaccine forward to further trials, but until that’s done, we won’t know whether it is truly protective or not.”

The full findings are published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The group is now planning phase 2 trials.

Scientists received grants from the European Commission. Professor Shattock raised concerns about the future of such international collaborations and whether UK institutions can maintain their leading role in vaccine research.


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