Adult Health

Coming Soon: Toxic Shock Syndrome Vaccine

Written by andy

Could this Toxic Shock Syndrome vaccine dream be the cure for bacterial toxins?

Toxic shock syndrome is one of the worst of the bacterial illnesses, and if you lived through any sex-ed class in America from the 1980s and later, you’re already fully acquainted with just how one gets TSS. While some bacteria give you acne, a rash, or indigestion, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) can be dangerous, often fatal. It’s a lot more common than you’d think, too.

TSS is a common risk after suffering severe burns or skin infections, and yup, extended tampon use. The bacteria causing the infection can worm their way into the body, spread through the blood, and cause toxic shock to shut down the body. It’s a known complication of surgery, especially in less-than-optimal conditions (such as battlefield surgery or emergency surgery after a vehicle accident or natural disaster).  For women who are already suffering from an infection of the very common Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, using tampons during menstruation can increase the risk of serious problems. Tampons are known to cause ulcerations and lacerations of the vaginal walls, which gives the Staph bacteria a way to enter the bloodstream more easily. Super absorbent tampons can swell up so much that they peel away a layer of the vaginal wall when removed, increasing the risk of damage, which in turn can increase the risk of infection.

Pretty scary stuff, right?

However, according to science out of Vienna, Austria, there may soon be a vaccine to deal with TSS. The Lancet medical journal published the findings of a team of medical researchers working at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Clinical Pharmacology and the Biomedizinische Forschungsgesellschaft mbH. Together, these two organizations have developed the world’s first vaccine against TSS. After testing it in Phase I trials, the verdict is: effective!

READ MORE: Surprising Toxins Found in Bottled Drinks

The vaccine was tested on almost 50 people, men and women both. The vaccine proved effective at combating the toxic shock syndrome, and best of all it showed “practically no side effects”. With Phase II testing just around the corner, we could soon see a vaccine for the fairly common, potentially dangerous problem.

But what if there was a way to reduce your risk of TSS without having find access to the Toxic Shock Syndrome vaccine? You’re in luck– it turns out it’s fairly easy to prop up your own immune system against this aggressive bacteria. When your immune system is suppressed–the result of medication, illness, poor nutrition, etc.–your body is unable to defend itself from these bacteria. The bad bacteria are allowed to spread out of control, causing infection and increasing your risk of problems like TSS.

Before searching for the currently near-impossibly vaccine, try doing these:

  • Sleep more. A good night’s sleep can do wonders to restore your body to full function.
  • Eat right. Get plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants in your diet, and you’ll enhance your body’s defensive capabilities.
  • Exercise. Exercise is one of the best immune-boosters around, and it will make your body better-able to fight off disease.
  • Watch your habits. Don’t overdo it on medication or antibiotics, and reduce smoking and alcohol consumption. All of these things can reduce your immunity and make you susceptible to infection.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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