April 22, 2024

54% of study participants who were given the novel oral spray-based vaccine MV140 remained UTI-free for up to nine years after treatment, with no notable side effects

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can be prevented for up to nine years longer than with standard antibiotic treatments in over half of people treated, a new study has found. Institute of Biomedical Engineering DPhil candidate and Consultant Urologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Bob Yang, who led the trial, calls it a potential ‘gamechanger for UTI prevention’.

UTIs are the most common bacterial infection, experienced by half of all women and one in five men. They can be painful and uncomfortable and difficult to treat, frequently developing into a recurrent infection which currently requires costly antibiotic treatment.

In 2014, the first patients received the novel oral spray-based vaccine MV140 (Uromune) at The Urology Partnership in Reading. 54% of the initial participants who assessed were UTI-free for up to nine years after treatment, with an average UTI-free period of 4.5 years, and suffered no notable side effects.

“This treatment is a potential lifesaver for women in the UK and around the world plagued by recurrent UTIs. A three-month treatment with MV140 offers a genuine chance to reclaim their quality of life.” Bob Yang, trial lead

Mr Yang says, “This is a very easy vaccine to administer and could be given by GPs as a 3-month course. Many of our participants told us that having the vaccine restored their quality of life. While we’re yet to look at the effect of this vaccine in different patient groups, this data suggests it could be a game changer for UTI prevention if it’s offered widely, reducing the need for antibiotic treatments.”

The pineapple-flavoured spray is administered orally once a day for three months. The vaccine, called Uromune, was developed by Immunotek S.L. in Spain and is composed of inactivated whole bacteria commonly associated with UTIs.

The retrospective study of 89 patients, 72 women and 17 men, was carried out at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and is the first long-term follow-up study of the MV140 vaccine. The first prospective study and subsequent international randomised control trial studied the patients for 12 months (First experience in the UK of treating women with recurrent urinary tract infections with the bacterial vaccine Uromune®, BJU International).

For the long-term study, researchers analysed the original data and interviewed participants about their experience of UTIs since receiving the vaccine, and any side effects. “The results were dramatic,” Yang says. “We had women who were coming month after month with infection after infection, despite all treatment, often with last-line antibiotics. And [after using the vaccine] they came back and said ‘what have you done to us? We are infection-free’.”

By reducing UTI frequency and their symptoms, the vaccine also means fewer antibiotics and the side effects that can come with them. This innovative treatment brings significant hope, offering a solution to the pain and disruption to daily routines that many women currently experience.” Bob Yang, trial lead

Mr Yang has won funding to test the Uromone vaccine on spinal injury patients, who can experience more complicated UTIs, with a view to carrying out a large randomised controlled trial. As the vaccine is currently unlicensed in the UK, another goal for the future will be to move towards regulatory approval in the UK so that it can be prescribed by GPs.

The results of the study were presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Paris earlier this month and is due to be presented at the American Urological Association in May.

Mr Yang is currently working with Professor Eleanor Stride on a large scale programme grant addressing antimicrobial resistance (Beyond Antibiotics) funded by the UKRI – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Programme Grant Scheme EP/V026623/1.