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Chlamydia bacteria may be source of trachoma vaccine

A weakened strain of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria could be used as a vaccine against the world's biggest cause of infectious blindness, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

Trachoma, which affects an estimated 40 million people around the world, could be counteracted by a dose of the bacteria that has been weakened by removing a small piece of DNA.

A test on six macaque monkeys found that all of them spontaneously recovered from the trachoma infection in less than two weeks, with minimal or no signs of ocular disease.

"This work is an important milestone in the development of a trachoma vaccine," said Anthony S Faudi, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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