Vaccine that can stop UTIs for NINE years – in drug that could prove a saviour for up to 1.7 million Britons

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Patients suffering persistent bladder infections could soon receive a vaccine that banishes the painful condition.

Research has found the treatment can prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) for up to nine years in more than half of patients.

Up to 1.7 million Britons, the majority of whom are women, suffer from recurrent UTIs – classed as three or more infections a year. Symptoms include a burning pain when going to the toilet, going more often than usual and feeling as if you still need to go when the bladder is empty.

In older patients, the infection can cause a dementia-like condition called delirium. There is also a risk of sepsis, which accounts for about 50,000 deaths in the UK each year.

Research has found the treatment can prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) for up to nine years (stock image)

The vaccine is given as a pineapple- flavoured oral spray could even be an alternative to antibiotics (stock image)

The vaccine is given as a pineapple- flavoured oral spray could even be an alternative to antibiotics (stock image)

Known as MV140, the vaccine, which is given as a pineapple- flavoured oral spray, could even be an alternative to antibiotics, which historically have been the only way of combating infections.

While a number of antibiotics are used to treat UTIs, these medicines have become less effective over time. This is because bacteria can build up a resistance to them.

The study, carried out at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, followed 89 participants with recurrent UTIs who were given MV140 nine years ago. It was sprayed under the tongue by a GP every day for three months.

The vaccine contains four types of inactivated bacteria – meaning they cannot infect the body – including E. Coli, the most common cause of a UTI.

The findings, presented this weekend at the European Association of Urology Congress in Paris, reveal that 54 per cent of participants have not had a UTI since they took the vaccine.

On average, patients went four-and-a-half years without getting an infection.

Researchers say that those who did develop a UTI tended to suffer only minor symptoms.

Bob Yang, a consultant urologist at the Trust, said: ‘Many of those who did get a UTI told us that simply drinking plenty of water was enough to treat it.

‘[The vaccine] could be a game-changer for UTI prevention if it is offered widely, reducing the need for antibiotic treatments.’

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