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University of Copenhagen scientists working on 10 vaccines to be tested on pigs. Human trials in 4-5 years
Last year 29,000 Danes were left with an unpleasant reminder of a night of passion, in the form of the sexually transmitted illness Chlamydia, writes science portal Videnskab.dk.
Now, national agency Statens Serum Institut and researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Life Sciences are working on a vaccine which will liberate future generations from chlamydia’s painful symptoms and infertility risks.
Parts of the surface of the chlamydia bacteria, chlamydia trachomatis, vary from bacteria to bacteria, which has hampered the search for a vaccine until now.
The Danish team have taken the lead in chlamydia research by concentrating on the constant parts of the bacteria surface.
A vaccine made up of these constant components could teach the immune system to recognise all chlamydia bacteria and develop antibodies to fight the infection.
The vaccines have been tested on mice and will be tested on pigs during the autumn of 2009. They ought to be ready for human testing in four or five years. According to Frank Follmann, Ph.D., who is leading the research group at Statens Serum Institut, the vaccines are likely to work on humans.
»If the results from the mouse tests are confirmed by those on pigs, which we think is a likely outcome, then it is probable that it will also work on humans«, he says.