American researchers have developed a sublingual vaccine to fight against recurrent cystitis. This treatment has been tested on mice and has shown promising results.
- Cystitis is manifested by burning during urination, pain in the lower abdomen or pressing needs to urinate without being able to evacuate much urine.
- The infection can affect a kidney and cause pyelonephritis, which is manifested by the sudden onset of fever and low back pain on one side only.
“Urinary tract infections are a major public health problem affecting millions of people every year. When they recur, they are treated with long-term antibiotics, making the alarming increase in antibiotic resistance a major threat to the future treatment of cystitis”, said scientists from Duke University (USA).
A tablet under the tongue to stop recurrent cystitis
As part of a study, the team took a new approach to treating recurrent UTIs. The authors have developed a vaccine in the form of sublingual tablets, ie to be placed under the tongue. This treatment targets the bacterium “Escherichia coli” which is the cause of the infection in 90% of cases.
In detail, the researchers developed this vaccine from “peptide-polymer nanofibers” capable of penetrating the oral mucosa and training the immune system to recognize and fight the bacteria. According to the scientists, this method of delivering the treatment helps trigger an immune response in the urinary tract due to the similarities between the mucous membranes that line the urinary tract and the mouth.
Urinary tract infection: a sublingual vaccine as effective as antibiotics
To test the effectiveness of this immunizing sublingual vaccine, the authors conducted experiments on mice. According to the results, published in the journal Science Advances, the tablet to melt under the tongue was as effective as traditional antibiotics. The team assured that its repeated use did not lead to gastrointestinal disorders.
“If the vaccine proves effective in humans, it would significantly reduce the number of antibiotics used to treat disease in general, thereby slowing the progression of bacterial resistance to available antibiotics,” concluded the researchers in a statement.