Vaccine mooted for bacterial vaginosis

Australian researchers say they are a step closer to developing a vaccine to prevent bacterial vaginosis, the most common vaginal infection worldwide.

Caused by the bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis, a team from St Vincent’s Institute Medical Research in Melbourne have shown how it targets cells and causes infection in women.

One of the bacteria’s tools for establishing infection is a protein toxin, vaginolysin. Using advanced x-ray techniques, they were able to track the journey from toxin to infection.

They say this discovery may lead to the development of a vaccine.

“The research found that the toxin vaginolysin - which unlike many other common toxins only targets human tissues - is attracted to cells that have the receptor protein CD59 on their surface,” says co-lead author Dr Craig Morton.

“The normal role of CD59 is to turn down the body’s