Expert Rev Vaccines. 2003 Feb;2(1):129-46
Igietseme JU, Eko FO, Black CM.
Molecular Pathogenesis Laboratory, National Center for Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The clinically relevant pathologic consequences of primary ocular, genital, or respiratory human infection by members of the genus Chlamydia are conjunctivitis, cervicitis, urethritis and sinusitis.
The major complications and sometimes debilitating evolutionary outcomes of these infections include: trichiasis and cicatrizing trachoma, endometritis or pelvic inflammatory disease and involuntary tubal factor infertility and bronchopulmonary pneumonia.
These diseases, in addition to other chlamydia-associated chronic syndromes (e.g., artherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease), pose serious public healthcare and huge budgetary concerns.
The current medical opinion is that an efficacious prophylactic vaccine is a sine qua non--to control the morbidity of chiamydial infection in the human population.
The research goal for an efficacious human chlamydial vaccine has faced key challenges to define the elements of protective immunity to facilitate vaccine evaluation, the judicious selection of appropriate vaccine candidates that possess stable antigenic and immunologic properties and the development of effective delivery vehicles and adjuvants to boost immune effectors to achieve long-term protective immunity.
Progress in the functional immunobiology of Chlamydia has established the essential immunologic paradigms for vaccine selection and evaluation, including the obligatory requirement for a vaccine to induce T-helper Type 1 immune response that controls chlamydiae.
Recent advances in chlamydial genomics and proteomics should enhance the identification of likely chlamydial gene products that fulfill the antigenic requirements of putative vaccine candidates.
Major inroads are however needed in the construction and development of novel and effective delivery systems, such as vectors and adjuvants.
This review summarizes the status of contemporary chlamydial vaccine research and promising trends fueling the growing optimism for an efficacious vaccine.
The unified approach to vaccines for the genus Chlamydia is validated by the several conserved genes and common immunogenic proteins among member species and the similarity of immune effectors controlling Chlamydia species in animals and humans.