New Pineapple-Flavored Mouth Spray Vaccine Targets UTIs

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An experimental vaccine, MV140, may one day offer an alternative to antibiotics for preventing chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) in individuals with a history of these infections. According to preliminary results from a long-term study, this vaccine shows promising potential.

The study investigated the effectiveness of the pineapple-flavored oral vaccine, also known as Uromune, which is administered as a sublingual spray. In the study, 89 men and women with a history of UTIs were asked to take two sprays of the vaccine daily for three months.

Nine years after the initial treatment, 54% of the participants remained free of UTIs, as per the preliminary study results presented at the European Associated of Urology Congress in Paris.

On average, women in the study managed to go about 4.5 years without experiencing a UTI, while men were UTI-free for approximately 3.5 years, according to a statement from the European Association of Urology.

Bob Yang, MD, who co-led the study and serves as a consultant urologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, said in the statement, “Before having the vaccine, all our participants suffered with recurrent UTIs, and for many women, these can be difficult to treat.”

Uromune Vaccine Users Experienced Fewer UTIs

The study also highlighted that none of the participants had UTIs when they began the vaccine treatment. Additionally, two out of five participants received booster doses of the vaccine one or two years after the initial course of treatment. Importantly, researchers reported no side effects associated with the vaccine.

“Overall, this vaccine is safe in the long term and our participants reported having fewer UTIs that were less severe,” Dr. Yang said. “Many of those who did get a UTI told us that simply drinking plenty of water was enough to treat it.”

While the results are preliminary and will need verification through additional trials, Dr. Yang suggested that it might be possible for primary care providers to prescribe a three-month course of the vaccine in the future to prevent repeated UTIs in people with a history of these infections.

Uromune Vaccine Still Awaiting Approval in the U.S.

“It could be a game changer for UTI prevention if it’s offered widely, reducing the need for antibiotic treatments,” Yang said in the statement.

However, U.S. patients will need to wait, as the vaccine remains experimental and is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Even so, the findings suggest that the vaccine has the potential to significantly improve care, as noted by J. Curtis Nickel, MD, a professor emeritus at Queens University and a urologist at Kingston Health Sciences Centre in Ontario.

“Recurrent UTI causes significant patient burden in terms of pain, disability, urinary symptoms, antibiotic side effects, time off work and activities, psychological issues like depression and anxiety, and stress — and increases personal and societal antibiotic resistance,” Dr. Nickel says.

“MV140 is more effective and has fewer side effects than the present treatment and preventative modality, [which is] antibiotics.”

The MV140 vaccine’s mechanism involves stimulating the immune system to fight off the bacteria that commonly causes UTIs. This immune response reduces the recurrence of infections, providing a long-term solution for individuals who suffer from chronic UTIs. Given the rising concern over antibiotic resistance, an alternative treatment like MV140 could be highly beneficial.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing global health issue, with overuse and misuse of antibiotics leading to the development of resistant bacteria. This makes infections harder to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death. Hence, the development of a vaccine like MV140 is particularly timely and crucial.

Moreover, the vaccine’s potential to alleviate the symptoms and recurrence of UTIs could vastly improve the quality of life for many patients. Chronic UTIs can cause severe discomfort and complications, leading to frequent medical visits and a significant emotional and physical toll on patients. By reducing the frequency and severity of UTIs, MV140 offers a promising avenue to mitigate these issues.

In conclusion, while MV140 is still in the experimental phase and awaits FDA approval, its preliminary results are encouraging. If future studies confirm its efficacy and safety, this vaccine could revolutionize the prevention and management of chronic UTIs, reducing reliance on antibiotics and offering a better quality of life for those affected.

As research progresses, there is hope that MV140 will become a widely available treatment option, making a significant impact on global health.