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Study Finds Experimental Vaccine Protects Monkeys From Blinding Trachoma

“An attenuated, or weakened, strain of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria can be used as a vaccine to prevent or reduce the severity of trachoma, the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness, suggest findings from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study in monkeys,” an NIH press release reports. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine on Tuesday, used cynomolgus macaque monkeys in the experiment “because their immune responses closely predict those of humans,” the press release states.  “If this approach demonstrates continued success, the implications could be enormous for the tens of millions of people affected by trachoma, a neglected disease of poverty primarily seen in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, according to the press release (10/10).