Researchers are using mice in a Texas laboratory to help them develop a vaccine for Chlamydia.
According to San Antonio’s UT Health Infectious Disease researcher Dr. Guangming Zhong, he’s been adamant about finding a vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease all his life. He said there are over one million new cases of the disease each year. He said if an oral vaccine could be developed, it could stop exposure.
Zhong said the news is big, with his team of student researchers being closer than ever to finding a vaccine. He said female mice are their models, exposing their digestive system to an oral vaccine that could prevent future infections.
Ph.D. candidate student John Koprivsek is working with the team. He said the group is currently looking at what the mice are offering and are trying to see if they’ll work in the human population.
In 2016, there were approximately 1.6 million Chlamydia cases reported to the CDC. The disease is well-documented in sexually active women between 14 and 24 years of age.
Dr. Zhong’s research is in the patented process right now.
Koprivsek said the team is doing everything it can to prevent the disease, and if it becomes a human vaccine, it means they were able to attain their goal.
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Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are caused by a variety of microorganisms. These agents cause genital tract infections that are often overlooked due to the absence of specific symptoms. The silent nature of these infections can prevent early diagnosis and delay possible treatment. Lack of symptoms will also facilitate disease transmission from to person to person or to the fetus during pregnancy. The availability of effective vaccines may effectively reduce the risk of contracting an STD and enhance existing prevention programs.