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The UNC Chlamydia Vaccine Initiative STI Cooperative Research Center is a partnership of academic institutions and industry to explore systems-level host/pathogen molecular interactions during infection of the female genital tract by Chlamydia trachomatis (CT).

Fallopian tube epithelium cells infected with Chlamydia trachomatis. Red: C. trachomatis, Green: cilia, White: actin, Blue: nuclei.

C. trachomatis is a sexually-transmitted bacterium that infects over 100 million people worldwide. In the United States, more than 1 million women are infected annually. When left untreated, CT infection can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

Our goal is to accelerate development of a novel vaccine that prevents CT ascension in the female genital tract, eliminating CT-associated PID and infertility. We aim to go further and develop a vaccine regimen that fully prevents CT infection.

Our objectives are to identify vaccine candidates that are protective in animal models, suitable vehicles to deliver them, and biomarkers to evaluate their efficacy clinically.

The UNC Chlamydia Vaccine Initiative is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Project ID: 1 U19 AI144181-01).