Publications & Reports

Development status and future prospects for a vaccine against Chlamydia trachomatis infection.

Louise M Hafner, David P Wilson, Peter Timms
Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


Chlamydia trachomatis continues to be the most commonly reported sexually transmitted bacterial infection in many countries with more than 100 million new cases estimated annually. These acute infections translate into significant downstream health care costs, particularly for women, where complications can include pelvic inflammatory disease and other disease sequelae such as tubal factor infertility. Despite years of research, the immunological mechanisms responsible for protective immunity versus immunopathology are still not well understood, although it is widely accepted that T cell driven IFN-g and Th17 responses are critical for clearing infection. While antibodies are able to neutralize infections in vitro, alone they are not protective, indicating that any successful vaccine will need to elicit both arms of the immune response. In recent years, there has been an expansion in the number and types of antigens that have been evaluated as vaccines, and combined with the new array of mucosal adjuvants, this aspect of chlamydial vaccinology is showing promise. Most recently, the opportunities to develop successful vaccines have been given a significant boost with the development of a genetic transformation system for Chlamydia, as well as the identification of the key role of the chlamydial plasmid in virulence. While still remaining a major challenge, the development of a successful C. trachomatis vaccine is starting to look more likely.


  • Journal: Vaccine
  • Published: 20/03/2014
  • Volume: 32
  • Issue: 14
  • Pagination: 1563-1571