MenB Vaccine May Reduce Gonorrhoea

Individuals vaccinated with meningococcal group B were 31 percent less likely to catch gonorrhoea
(Precision Vaccinations News)

A study reported that people who had received a Meningitis B vaccination showed a reduced chance of contracting gonorrhoea.

This retrospective case-control study showed that vaccinated individuals were 31 percent less likely to catch gonorrhoea after receiving a meningococcal group B (MenB) vaccine.

"This is the first time a vaccine has shown any protection against gonorrhoea," said Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, from the University of Auckland, the lead author of the study. "The potential ability of a vaccine to provide even moderate protection against gonorrhea is of substantial public health interest.”

"At the moment, the mechanism behind this immune response is unknown," said Dr. Petousis-Harris.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 78 million people each year are infected with gonorrhoea. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat.

It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years. You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea is a very difficult disease to treat.  As new antibiotics are introduced to combat it, the bug develops a resistance to it.  The WHO has stated that it is only time before gonorrhea will be untreatable by any antibiotic.

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting gonorrhea:

  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results;
  • Using latex condoms if you have sex.

Additionally, a pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.

Gonorrhea and Meningitis B are very different diseases, presenting completely different symptoms and mode of transmission, however their bacteria is matched 80-90%.

The meningococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. It can lead to meningitis, which is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and infections of the blood.

Meningococcal disease often occurs without warning. Meningococcal disease can spread from person to person through close contact, such as coughing or kissing, or among people living in the same household.

There are at least 12 types of N. meningitidis, called "serogroups." Serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y cause most meningococcal disease. Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines can help prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B.

The CDC Vaccine Price Lists provide current vaccine contract prices and list the private sector vaccine prices for general information. The MeNZB vaccine used in this study is no longer available.

This research was published in The Lancet. A total of 14,730 cases were analysed in the study, with 1,241 cases of gonorrhoea, 12,487 cases of chlamydia, and 1,002 cases of co-infection observed by the researchers.

Funding for this study was provided by GSK Vaccines and Auckland UniServices. Dr Petousis-Harris has been a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Pfizer but has not received honoraria. Dr Black has been a consultant for Novartis Vaccines, and is currently a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline, Protein Sciences, Merck, and the World Health Organization.



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