A standard Meningitis B vaccine may hold the key to halting the spread of a drug-resistant, Gonorrhoea ‘superbug’. The World Health Organization recently warned that vaccinations were the “only sustainable way to achieve control” of this dangerous STI. So far, all experimental vaccinations have failed but, remarkably, a pre-existing, licenced vaccine is now providing fresh optimism.
A study of almost 15,000 people who had received the Meningitis B vaccine, found that they were over 30% less likely to contract Gonorrhoea. After analysing thousands of clinical records in New Zealand, Steve Black and his colleagues at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, also discovered that those who contracted Gonorrhoea after being vaccinated were 40% less likely to develop a serious form of the disease. The report comes just days after we brought you the news that Gonorrhoea has developed widespread resistance to antibiotics such as azithromycin, cefixime and ceftriaxone.
There is an 80-90% genetic association between Neisseria Gonorrhoeae bacteria and Neisseria Meningitidis bacteria. This means that, despite their differences in symptoms and transmission, Gonorrhoea and Meningitis are more closely related than you might imagine. Because the protein sequences of these bacteria are so similar, immune reactions to one might well have an impact on the other.
As Gonorrhoea is passed on through sex, rather than a cough or a sneeze, even a relatively modest breakthrough could still have a noticeable impact. This report has given credence to the notion that if all 13-year-olds were given a vaccine that protected only half of them, it would still reduce levels of Gonorrhoea in the wider population by 90% in just two decades.
Though the mechanism behind this immune response remains unclear, Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, of Auckland University, believes the findings ‘could inform future vaccine development.’
“This is the first time a vaccine has shown any protection against Gonorrhoea,” she said. “If the effect is confirmed in similar Meningitis vaccines, administering it to teenagers could result in a dramatic decline in the disease.”
Using either a urine sample or a swab of the throat, vagina or rectum, Better2Know can test for Gonorrhoea individually or as part of a combination of tests, known as a screen. These tests can be performed at home, as well as our clinics and nurse stations nationwide. Results are typically available within one to five working days from the sample’s arrival at the laboratory, depending on your selected test or screen. Better2Know also offers Instant testing for Gonorrhoea, giving you accurate results within 20 minutes, while you wait in the clinic.
Should you test positive for Gonorrhoea, we can arrange a consultation with one of our experienced doctors to discuss the best course of action moving forward. We can also provide a prescription for the treatment you require at no additional charge.
Contact us today on the free telephone number above to book your Gonorrhoea test. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. Better2Know’s friendly Patient Services team will answer your questions and organise your booking. You can also arrange your appointment online, at any time, by selecting the Book Now button at the top of the page.