UTI vaccine prevents infections for nine years

A new oral spray vaccine has proven to be effective in preventing recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) for nine years, which could potentially be an alternative to antibiotic treatments. UTIs are the most common bacterial infection, affecting half of all women and one in five men. Recurrent infections needing antibiotics develop in 20 to 30 per cent of cases, and overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections.

Developed by the Spanish pharmaceutical company Immunotek, the MV140 vaccine contains four bacterial species. It is administered with two sprays of a pineapple-flavoured suspension with water under the tongue every day for three months.

The long-term safety and efficacy of the MV140 vaccine was studied in 89 patients with recurrent UTIs. More than half of the participants (54 per cent) remained infection free for nine years after receiving the vaccine, with no notable side effects. The average infection free period was 56.7 months for women and 44.3 months for men. Forty per cent of the participants reported having repeat doses of the vaccine after one or two years.

“Overall, this vaccine is safe in the long term and our participants reported having fewer UTIs that were less severe. Many of those who did get a UTI told us that simply drinking plenty of water was enough to treat it,” the study said. The findings, which could be a game changer for UTI prevention, were presented at a meeting of the European Association of Urology.