The latest developments in a vaccine which has shown signs to protect against gonorrhoea has been announced by scientists in New Zealand.
The World Health Organisation has also commented on how this developing vaccine could stop the global spread of the sexually transmitted infection ‘super-gonorrhoea’.
Around 78 million people pick up the sexually transmitted infection each year which can cause infertility and the body does not build up resistance no matter how many times someone is infected. The study carried out on 15,000 young people showed that by using the vaccine, infections reduced by a third.
The disease is caused by bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea and is spread by unprotected sex, the symptoms include thick green or yellow discharge from the sexual organs as well as pain when urinating and bleeding between periods.
Of those infected 10 heterosexual men and more than three-quarters of women and gay men have no easily recognisable symptoms, not treating the infection can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and also be passed on to a child during pregnancy.
This vaccine was originally developed to stop an outbreak of meningitis B and was given to around one million adolescents across New Zealand between 2004 and 2006.
Researches at the University of Auckland analysed the data from sexual health clinics and found that gonorrhoea cases had fallen by 31% in those vaccinated.
The bacterium that causes meningitis, Neisseria meningitidis, is closely linked to the species that cause gonorrhoea, Neisseria gonorrhoea.
One of the researchers Dr Helen Petousis-Harris explained how this is the first time a vaccine has shown protection against gonorrhoea.
At the moment, the mechanism behind this immune response is unknown, but further findings could get to the bottom of this future vaccination development. The protection of the vaccine seemed to last around two years.
This vaccine, MeNZB is no longer available and many of its components are in the new Men B jab called 4CMenB. The UK is the only country in the world which will be providing the 4CMenB vaccination out as a routine childhood immunisation.
Researcher, Professor Steven Black from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the US has explained that the potential ability of a group B meningococcal vaccine to provide moderate protection against gonorrhoea will have substantial public health benefits.
The importance to protect people and help prevent developing gonorrhoea is very important as the infection is becoming more and more difficult. In recent news, the World Health Organisation has warned how the global spread of gonorrhoea will not be able to be treated with antibiotics.
Dr Teodora Wi from the World Health Organisation said there have been three cases, in Japan, France and Spain where the infection is completely untreatable.
However, despite this, there are no some high hopes for protection with this new vaccination development. There’s still a long way to go, but now there’s evidence of gonorrhoea protection, it’s possible.
At Broadgate GP, we provide a full sexual health clinic and can offer screenings, tests, treatments and guidance or advice, should you require it. Simply contact our team today.