The meningitis vaccination might be a new tool in the fight against'super-gonorrhoea.'

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The meningitis vaccination might be a new tool in the fight against'super-gonorrhoea.'


According to two studies, young individuals who got a meningitis vaccination have a decreased risk of contracting gonorrhoea, which is caused by a similar bacteria.

A vaccination that prevents meningitis in children also reduces the risk of gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted illness (STI) caused by a similar bacteria.

Although the vaccination has a moderate effect, cutting STI rates by up to 40%, Helen Marshall of Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, believes it might still have a positive influence on infection rates, especially as antibiotic-resistant cases grow. Gonorrhoea, often known as the clap, can produce discomfort and discharge from the genitals in both men and women, but it can also go unnoticed in up to half of women and a tenth of men. It can cause infertility in women and blindness in kids delivered to infected moms if left untreated.

Because germs are growing more resistant to traditional medicines, treating STIs is getting more difficult. People might acquire reinfections even after good therapy. Some types of "super-gonorrhoea" are resistant to practically all antibiotics.

The 4CMenB meningitis vaccine was developed to combat Neisseria meningitidis, a bacteria that causes brain infections and is closely linked to the gonorrhoea-causing Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Some of the antibodies produced by the meningitis vaccination attach to the bacterium that causes gonorrhoea.

In Australia, the 4CMenB vaccination was made available to persons aged 17 to 20 in 2019. Marshall's team evaluated the rates of gonorrhoea in persons who received the meningitis vaccination vs those who did not. It was discovered that obtaining the two needed doses of the vaccine lowered the risk of gonorrhoea by 33%.

The vaccine's efficiency was determined to be 40% in a comparable research in the United States, where it was launched for 16 to 23-year-olds in New York and Philadelphia.

"Even if the efficacy is moderate rather than great, it would still result in a significant reduction in gonorrhoea," Marshall adds.

In a cost-benefit analysis, Imperial College London's Peter White and colleagues discovered that offering the meningitis vaccination to men who have sex with males and frequent STI clinics would be cost-effective because they are at high risk for infection. Those who test positive for gonorrhoea or claim to have more than five sexual partners per year fall into this category.

According to Colin Garner, director of the Antibiotic Resistance UK organisation, "ideally, we would provide patients a more effective gonorrhoea vaccination." "However, anything that may be utilised to combat these resistant microorganisms is clearly of interest." Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is becoming more common."

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