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Meningitis vaccine shows protection against gonorrhea


Scientists in New Zealand claim that there is a possible vaccine for Gonorrhea protection. As antibiotics fail to cure gonorrhea, fears are that the STI may become untreatable. The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates that developing a vaccine is necessary for cutting down the spread of gonorrhea.
In a study of 15, 000 young persons, infections were reduced by a third. Gonorrhea which is an infection that can lead to infertility is growing rampant as about 78 million people contract the disease yearly.

The unpredicted beginning

The vaccine which was developed to put a stop to meningitis B outbreak was issued to about one million young people in New Zealand between from 2004 to 2006. Scientists at the University of Auckland studied the data from sexual health centers and discovered that gonorrhea cases had dropped by 31% in those who got the vaccine. It’s good to not that the causative virus of gonorrhea ( Neisseria gonorrhoeae) is related to that of meningitis (Neisseria meningitidis).

One of the researchers, Dr. Helen Petousis, said this case is marked as the first time a vaccine is proving to show protection against gonorrhea. She added that their discovery could help vaccine development in the future, but the mechanism that causes this immune response is yet unknown. The protection by the vaccine appeared to be effective for about two years.

Knowing gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted Infection (STI) that is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae – often transmitted during unprotected sex. The symptoms of this disease include thick yellow or green discharge from the sexual organs, pains during urination and intermediate bleeding.

However, most of the gay men, heterosexual women and men display less significant symptoms. When infection is left untreated, it can be passed transmitted to a child during pregnancy. Discovering the vaccine is a good one, but the vaccine – MeNZB is currently not available. However, the new 4CMenB contains many of the components of the MeNZB. The UK still stands tall as the only country that rolls out 4CMenB for childhood immunization routinely.

A Co-researcher from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the US, Prof. Steven Black said that the ability of the meningitis vaccine to protect against gonorrhea would have significant health benefits to the public.

Likewise, Dr. Teodora Wi from WHO said that such development is a good one as gonorrhea is growing rampant and untreatable. She cited three cases in France, Spain, and Japan where the infection appeared untreatable. She applauded the development, as it will offer cross-protection somewhat.