Together with colleagues at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, scientists at the university have made an important advance by finding the way to access chlamydia trachomatis, the bacteria which causes the disease genome.
As a result, scientists are now able to study the disease’s complete genetic set. This new information, which has taken decades to collect, will allow more thorough research to take place and could pave the way for better treatments and, possibly, eventually a vaccine.
Chlamydia is the UK’s most common STI; around one in every ten sexually-active persons have the disease. In Britain alone, there are more than a 100,000 known Chlamydia cases each year.
This is a very significant advance in the study of chlamydia and we are proud to be the first people to achieve this.Professor Ian ClarkeUniversity of Southampton
The threat of Chlamydia is often understated due to the threat of other well-known STDs and its lack of clear and recognisable symptoms. As a result, the disease is often more dangerous, as it may go untreated for a significant period of time.
Chlamydia can often lead to major internal problems, including both male and female infertility. Other results of the infection include pelvic inflammatory disease, conjunctivitis and the higher risk of a ectopic pregnancy.
It is hoped that the research will lead to better methods for detecting and treating Chlamydia in the future. Until then students can collect a free chlamydia test from the university health centre on Highfield Campus.