UTI spray vaccine could replace antibiotics, study finds

UTI spray vaccine could replace antibiotics, study finds

According to a new study, an oral spray vaccine could prevent repeated urinary infections. According to the researchers, this would be a potential alternative to antibiotics.

Some women are particularly prone to cystitis or urinary infections. Scientists at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the United Kingdom have designed an oral vaccine, which could be an alternative to taking antibiotics. Preliminary results were presented at the congress of the European Association of Urology, which was held from April 5 to 8 in Paris.

MV140, a promising new vaccine

Urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infection. They affect half of women and one in five men, on average. Painful and uncomfortable, they are sometimes recurrent and require repeated antibiotic treatments. We speak of recurrent cystitis when the number of infections is at least four per year.

In parallel with this situation, the increase in cases of antibiotic resistance is pushing scientists to develop new treatment options. The MV140 vaccine is a new oral vaccine against recurrent urinary infections. Developed by Spanish pharmaceutical company Immunotek, MV140 was made from four species of inactivated whole bacteria suspended with water. It is administered by two sprays of a pineapple-flavored suspension under the tongue every day for three months. While researchers have previously studied the short-term safety and effectiveness of MV140, this is the first long-term follow-up study.

No more infections for 4.5 years

For this study, 89 patients – 72 women and 17 men – were followed for nine years and asked about their experience with urinary tract infections since receiving the vaccine, as well as any potential side effects experienced. The results of this study are therefore based on self-reported data.

In total, 48 participants (54%) had no urinary infections during the nine years of follow-up and no side effects. On average, the duration without infection was 54.7 months or four and a half years. The full results of the study are expected to be published by the end of 2024.

Encouraging results against recurrent cystitis

Dr Bob Yang, consultant urologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, who co-led the research explains:

Before receiving the vaccine, all of our participants suffered from urinary tract infections recurrent, and for many women these could be difficult to treat. Nine years after first receiving this new UTI vaccine, about half of the participants remained infection-free. Overall, this vaccine is safe in the long term and our participants reported having fewer, less serious UTIs. Many who have had a UTI have told us that simply to drink a lot of water was enough to treat it..

Before adding: “IThis is a very easy vaccine to administer and this could be done by general practitioners for a 3-month course. Many of our participants told us that the vaccine restored their quality of life. Although we have not yet examined the effect of this vaccine in different groups of patients, these follow-up data suggest that it could be a game-changer for UTI prevention if offered widely, thereby reducing the need for antibiotic treatments”.