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Chlamydia Vaccine Shown Working in Lab Tests

Pap smear showing chlamydia

Pap smear showing chlamydia infection (National Cancer Institute)

2 December 2015. An experimental vaccine to prevent chlamydia was shown in tests with lab mice to prevent pelvic inflammation and clear bacteria more than mice not receiving the vaccine. The vaccine, given through the nose, is made by NanoBio Corp., a biopharmaceutical company in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that infects both men and women, but in women can result in pelvic inflammatory disease damaging reproductive organs, making it difficult or impossible to get pregnant. The disease does not cause symptoms in most people, and for those who do have symptoms — e.g., abnormal discharge, burning sensation when urinating — they do not develop until several weeks after sexual contact. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in 2014, more than 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the U.S., or about 456 cases per 100,000 residents, an increase of 2.8 percent from 443.5 per 100,000 residents in 2011-13.

NanoBio is a spin-off company from the University of Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences, founded in 2000. The company develops anti-infection vaccines and adjuvants, or boosters, using its technology that creates oil-in-water emulsions of nanoscale (400 to 500 nanometer) droplets, stabilized with surfactants. The nanoscale emulsions, says the company, can quickly penetrate skin pores and mucous membranes to fight infections.

In this study, a team led by immunologist Kenneth Beagley at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia tested NanoBio’s candidate for chlamydia with mice, which were first given nasally three doses of the vaccine-adjuvant, then induced with vaginal cases of chlamydia. A comparison group of mice were induced with chlamydia, but not given the vaccine.

The results reported by the company, but not published in a peer-reviewed journal, show 20 percent mice given the vaccine developed indicators of pelvic inflammation, compared to 100 percent of mice not given the vaccine. Mice given the vaccine also produced antibodies and regulatory proteins, and cleared bacteria faster than the untreated mice.

In September 2015, NanoBio reported at the International Herpesvirus Workshop, results of tests of a vaccine for genital herpes, a viral sexually transmitted disease, with guinea pigs in the lab. In those tests, the nasally-administered vaccine prevented infection in 92 percent of the treated animals, compared to 8 percent in the untreated group. A separate test used the vaccine to treat guinea pigs already induced with genital herpes. As a treatment, the vaccine reduced recurring lesions by 64 percent and viral shedding — release of virus, which spreads the infection — by more than 50 percent, compared to untreated animals.

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