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WSU files for patent on researcher's vaccine technology for chlamydia
Date:4/20/2011

cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), because Chlamydia infects the lower genital track and then may ascend into the fallopian tubes. PID can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States 750,000 women annually experience acute PID because of Chlamydia infection, and as many as 15 percent of those women may become infertile. Because an estimated 85 percent of women infected with Chlamydia are asymptomatic, the disease can wreak its permanent damage before they even become aware of the infection. Pregnant women can pass the infection to their infants during birth, leading to eye infections, including conjunctivitis and bronchial infections.

Chlamydia trachomatis is the leading cause of infectious blindness in humans. Worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 25 percent of people infected with this form will develop permanent blindness. More than 140 million people are infected with C. trachomatis, leaving 6 million blinded in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. At least 85 million eye infections annually are attributed to the disease, the WHO estimates. With the lack of access to basic health care in many of these regions, a vaccine would substantially reduce, if not eliminate, blindness due to Chlamydia in these areas.

A vaccine would have significant impact on health care around the world. The WHO estimates that 92 million people are infected with the sexually transmitted disease form of Chlamydia trachomatis, and the numbers continue to increase. Chlamydia trachomatis is the most commonly reported disease in the United States and has been the most prevalent of all sexually transmitted diseases reported to the CDC since 1994. The numbers of Chlamydial infections in the United States continue to rise. In 2009, the last year for which statistics are available, 1,244,180 cases of Chlamydia infecti
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
734-748-4207
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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