For the first time, a vaccine has tested positive to abilities to act as protection against gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted infection.
Scientists in New Zealand say study of 15,000 young people, published in the Lancet, showed infections were cut by about a third.
This is coming after the World Health Organisation in a recent publication said that the infection was fast becoming a challenge as antibiotics seemed to have minimal effect in treating the infection.
According to BBC, the vaccine, originally developed to stop an outbreak of meningitis b, was given to about a million adolescents in New Zealand between 2004 and 2006.
Researchers at the University of Auckland analysed data from sexual health clinics and found Gonorrhoea cases had fallen 31% in those vaccinated.
Protection seemed to last about two years.
“This is the first time a vaccine has shown any protection against gonorrhoea,” said study co-author Helen Petousis-Harris of the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
How the immune system is triggered for gonorrhoea is not understood, and the vaccine, used in a specific outbreak, is no longer available. Some of the same molecules were used, however, to manufacture another meningococcal vaccine that is still in use.
Further study is crucial to determine how the meningitis shot blocked gonorrhoea, Kate Seib of the Institute for Glycomics at Australia’s Griffith University wrote in a comment on the study.
“In light of the high burden of disease and the threat of gonorrhoea becoming untreatable because of antibiotic resistance, there is an increased imperative to revisit vaccine options and reinvigorate research in this field.”Please subscribe to our newsletter