The fruitless search for a gonorrhea vaccine dates back more than a century. All 4 candidates that made it to clinical trials failed to provide any protection against the sexually transmitted infection (STI), which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease leading to ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pain in women, as well as increased HIV acquisition and transmission.
But now—as the growing worldwide threat of multidrug-resistant gonorrhea looms—hope has come in a surprising form: a meningococcal vaccine. Researchers recently reported that a group B meningococcal vaccine custom-made for an epidemic of that disease in New Zealand may also prevent gonorrhea infection in a third of vaccinated individuals.
Abbasi J. New Hope for a Gonorrhea Vaccine. JAMA. 2017;318(10):894–895. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11037