An Oral Spray Vaccine For UTIs Has Been Developed

The oral vaccine offers hope to those with chronic UTIs.
UTI VaccineGetty

A new oral spray vaccine for urinary tract infections (UTIs) may offer hope to those who suffer with recurrent infections.

Currently, UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections, and more than half of all women will experience one in their lifetimes.

However, for many people (mainly women) UTIs are a more frequent issue, with 27% of women experiencing a recurrence within six months of their first episode.

Until now, the main treatment for recurrent UTIs is a low dose antibiotic taken once a day, every day.

Unfortunately, with this treatment comes a high risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The new treatment, which is not yet approved in Australia, is a pineapple-flavoured oral vaccine called MV140.

UTI sufferers would spray the vaccine, which contains heat-inactivated bacteria from four of the main UTI causing species, under the tongue every day for three months to prevent the infections from occurring.

A UTI vaccine is being developed.
More than half of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. (Credit: Getty)

In the past, there have been short-term studies on MV140, with a 2022 study revealing women given the vaccine having 0-1 UTIs in a nine month period compared to the women given a placebo, who experienced an average of three.

The most recent study from the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England is the first long-term trial of the treatment.

The findings, which were presented at the European Association Of Urology Congress in Paris, are extremely hopeful, with 54 percent of the participants (72 women and 17 men) experiencing no UTIs for nine years after using the drug.

While the other 46 still experienced UTIs, they reported them being fewer, less severe and easier to treat.

Most importantly, the nine-year-long experiment showed there were no long term side effect from the drug.

In fact, research showed that patients reported having more energy and better emotional wellbeing after taking MV140.

The research is yet to be peer-reviewed.

Alongside MV140, other UTI vaccine treatments are being developed in the United States, including a rapid dissolving tablet and a vaccine administered directly into the bladder cells.

When Will The UTI Vaccine Become Available In Australia?

MV140 has not been approved in Australia, the UK or US.

However, GPs can apply to prescribe it to certain patients or become an authorised prescriber for multiple patients.

In the meantime, the researchers will be expanding trials to include people with chronic UTI infections, such as those with spinal injuries who suffer with bladder issues.

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