A decade-long study into an oral vaccine to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) has yielded positive results.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

A group of 89 UTI patients were treated with the spray-based MV140 vaccine.

Nine years after their treatment, 54 per cent of participants in the trial attested to the vaccine's efficacy.

No notable side-effects were reported.

It is estimated that half of all women in the UK - and one in five men - suffer from a debilitating UTI.

The condition is typically treated with antibiotics.

But, given the challenges posed by antibiotic resistance, medical professionals are keen to develop alternatives.

The latest vaccine research was co-led by Dr Bob Yang, consultant urologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,

He said: "Before having the vaccine, all our participants suffered with recurrent UTIs, and for many women, these can be difficult to treat.

"Nine years after first receiving this new UTI vaccine, around half of participants remained infection free.

"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.

"This is a very easy vaccine to administer and could be given by GPs as a three-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 follow-up data suggests it could be a game-changer for UTI prevention if it’s offered widely, reducing the need for antibiotic treatments."