Chlamydia Wiped Out in 20 Years
September 22, 2008
New mathematical modeling suggests that a vaccine to prevent chlamydia could eliminate the STD within two decades, researchers reported at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference 2008 in Perth. While scientists have been unsuccessful in developing such a vaccine, even an imperfect one could dramatically lower chlamydia rates, they said.
Chlamydia is the most common STD in Australia. During the last decade, rates of the infection have skyrocketed from around 9,000 cases in 1997 to more than 52,000 in 2007. Reported infections increased 9 percent from 2006 to last year, though experts are unsure whether this represents more infections or improved testing and notification.
Richard Gray of Sydney's National Center in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research and colleagues examined the prevalence of chlamydia, how it is transmitted, and trends in sexual behavior.
According to Gray, a highly effective vaccine would wipe out all traces of chlamydia in 15 to 20 years. In the model, focusing a hypothetical vaccination campaign on women resulted in more benefit in terms of reducing complications and the overall number of cases. "Ideally, though, you'd vaccinate males and females to get maximum benefit," he said.
Australian Associated Press
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.