The study’s findings, which were published in the Infection and Immunity Journal, notes that exposing chlamydia to the gut first was a unique approach to preventing the infection. In most cases, the first exposure of chlamydia is seen in the genital tract. When that happens, the disease will spread to the gut, and the body responds in a way that causes the disease to spread further.
Human exposure to the disease is not predictable, as it can come from an infected partner or through contact with a contaminated material. Researchers used mice to control the way and to look at the transmission of chlamydia. What they found was that if the gut was the first area to be exposed, the infection became benign. However, when the genital tract is infected first, the disease spreads.
Zhong and his team looked at developing an oral vaccine using the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. He said people use probiotics to protect their GI health, and chlamydia may become a probiotic. Once the bacteria is in the GI tract, they don’t go anywhere else.
The CDC said chlamydia infections are common in young people, with 1 and 20 sexually active women 14 to 24 years old already exposed to the disease.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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