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Science / Medicine : Contraceptive Vaccine Effective in Animals

<i> From Times staff and wire reports</i>

An experimental contraceptive vaccine has blocked fertility without fail in female and male guinea pigs, researchers report, raising prospects that a similar approach might work for women and men. The vaccine is designed to prevent fertilization, which may make it more widely acceptable than another vaccine already being tested in humans that stops development of the embryo, other scientists said.

Paul Primakoff and his colleagues at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington reported the experiment in the British journal Nature.

It is the first demonstration of contraception without fail from a vaccine, experts said.

The vaccine is designed to make the body’s disease-fighting immune system attack a protein found in guinea pig sperm. The details of just how that blocks fertility in guinea pigs are not known, Primakoff said.

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