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NIAID Research on Chlamydia

Scientists are looking for better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent chlamydia. For example, NIAID researchers at the Institute's Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, are developing a vaccine to prevent Chlamydia trachomatis infection. The vaccine being tested is a single-component vaccine that is designed to protect against all 15 chlamydia varieties. Studies have already shown that the vaccine can prevent laboratory cells from becoming infected.

In addition, NIAID-supported researchers are studying treatment options for chlamydia infections. A recent clinical trial compared two CDC-recommended treatments for uncomplicated urogenital chlamydia, azithromycin and doxycycline. The results of this trial showed that both antibiotics are effective against chlamydia and confirmed that they are appropriate treatments.

Another prevention strategy being pursued is the development of multipurpose prevention technologies (preparations that can be inserted into the vagina to prevent infection) that are effective and easy for women to use.

To better understand the pathogenesis of C. trachomatis, researchers are also examining the organism’s genetic makeup. NIAID-supported scientists determined the complete genome (genetic blueprint) for C. trachomatis. The genome represents an encyclopedia of information about the bacterium. Researchers have also made important strides in the development of methods to manipulate the genome, including the ability to delete key genes in order to discover their functions. These accomplishments are giving scientists important information as they identify new targets for therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines.

Last Updated January 26, 2016