Gonorrhoea: Meningitis vaccine cuts the speed of sexually-transmitted an infection

Two research have discovered that younger individuals who obtained a vaccine for meningitis have a decrease fee of an infection with gonorrhoea, which is brought on by a associated bacterium


12 April 2022

Gonorrhoea bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria (round) on the surface of a cell. N. gonorrhoeae is a Gram-negative bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea. Symptoms include vaginal or urethral discharge and a burning sensation on urination.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae micro organism

Science Photo Library

A vaccine used to forestall meningitis in younger individuals additionally cuts the speed of the sexually transmitted an infection (STI) gonorrhoea, which is brought on by a associated bacterium.

The vaccine’s impact is comparatively modest, decreasing charges of the STI by as much as 40 per cent, nevertheless it may nonetheless have a helpful impression on charges of the an infection, particularly as antibiotic-resistant circumstances are on the rise, says Helen Marshall at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, Australia.

Gonorrhoea, also referred to as the clap, could cause ache and discharge from the genitals in males or ladies, however in as much as half of girls and a tenth of males it causes no signs. Left untreated, it could trigger infertility in ladies and blindness in infants born to contaminated moms.

The STI is proving more and more laborious to deal with, as a result of the micro organism have gotten extra resistant to straightforward antibiotics. Even after profitable remedy, individuals might get repeated reinfections. Some “super-gonorrhoea” strains are proof against practically all attainable antibiotics.

The meningitis vaccine, known as 4CMenB, was designed to focus on a bacterium known as Neisseria meningitidis, which is a reason for mind infections, and is intently associated to the gonorrhoea-causing Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Some of the antibodies generated by the meningitis vaccine bind to the gonorrhoea micro organism.

The 4CMenB vaccine was launched in Australia for individuals aged between 17 and 20 in 2019. Marshall’s group in contrast the charges of gonorrhoea in individuals who did or didn’t get the meningitis vaccine. This confirmed that receiving the 2 required doses of the vaccine lowered the probabilities of getting gonorrhoea by 33 per cent.

An identical examine within the US, the place the vaccine was launched for 16 to 23-year-olds in New York and Philadelphia, discovered the effectiveness of the vaccine to be 40 per cent.

“Even though the effectiveness is moderate rather than high, it still would see a really impactful reduction in gonorrhoea,” says Marshall.

In a modelling examine, Peter White at Imperial College London and his colleagues discovered that it will be cost-effective to supply the meningitis vaccine to males who’ve intercourse with males if they’re attending STI clinics, as a result of they’re at excessive threat for the an infection. This would come with those that take a look at constructive for gonorrhoea or say they’ve greater than 5 sexual companions a 12 months.

Ideally, we might supply individuals a vaccine towards gonorrhoea that’s more practical, says Colin Garner, head of the Antibiotic Resistance UK charity. “But anything that can be used against these types of resistant bacteria is obviously of interest. Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is becoming an increasing problem.”

Journal reference: Lancet Infectious Diseases, DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00754-4

Journal reference: Lancet Infectious Diseases, DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00812-4

Journal reference: Lancet Infectious Diseases, DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00744-1

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