Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases -- about 113 million people worldwide have it everyday. While there is a cure, the infection is largely asymptomatic and is often left untreated, which can cause severe reproductive problems in women. Luckily, a new study published in the journal Vaccine suggests that there may be a way to prevent the spread of the disease in the first place.
Chlamydia is a minor bacterial infection that is spread mainly through sexual intercourse and affects approximately 2.86 million Americans yearly. If it is caught early enough, antibiotics will have you feeling as good as new within 2 to 4 weeks. However, chlamydia does not show any symptoms in 70% of women. When left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which in turn can lead to an increased risk of ectopic pregnancies or infertility.
Because chlamydia is so dangerous when it goes undetected, preventing the spread of the infection is essential. "Vaccine development efforts in the past three decades have been unproductive and there is no vaccine approved for use in humans," wrote David Bulir, who co-authored the study. However, the newest vaccination attempt has proved more successful than past efforts.
"The study tested the vaccine's effectiveness on mice, and researchers found that immunized mice had a full 95 percent reduction in 'chlamydial shedding' during the infection's peak, and the infection cleared up much faster compared to mice that didn't receive the vaccine," according to Cosmopolitan. The vaccine will now be tested on humans.
If you think you may have chlamydia or any other STIs, don't wait -- get checked out by your doctor immediately.
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