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Hope Rises for Patients as Potential Gonorrhea Vaccination Looms

Gonorrhea, also known as “The Gentleman’s Disease,” is one of the oldest and most widespread Sexually Transmitted Infections, STIs, in the world, and according to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) scientists, it may soon be eradicable.

Since the emergence of drug-resistant strains of the causing bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), which make the disease considerably more difficult to cure with standard medicines, gonorrhea has steadily become nearly incurable.

Antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea treatment has prompted concerns because all bacteria are currently resistant to at least one common antibiotic. Ceftriaxone is a medication that must be administered intravenously, and although there is an increasing need for it, there is also resistance to it.

Although there is presently no legal gonorrhea vaccine, researchers now believe that when final testing on an injectable gonorrhea vaccine begins as early as 2026, a treatment option may become accessible. The investigational vaccine has undergone phase I studies, which established its safety for use in people and is now in phase II trials.

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The FDA in the US has already accelerated the development of the experimental vaccination that could eliminate the menace. This will hasten the vaccine’s approval and ensure that it reaches the general population quickly.

In a study, 750 participants from eight nations, including the US, UK, France, and Spain, who were between the ages of 18 and 50 and at a higher risk of contracting gonorrhea, participated in the phase II trials that began in November 2022. By March 2025, the results of this phase will be ready, and phase III tests will then begin.

Patients receive two doses of the vaccine by injection into the muscle in order to produce immunity. The vaccine’s mechanism of action is unknown, but researchers note that similar vaccines have been created in the past that employ antigens from bacterial surfaces to elicit an immune response.

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The FDA’s decision to provide our novel vaccine candidate against Neisseria gonorrhoeae illness Fast Track designation is something we applaud, according to Phil Dormitzer, the global head of vaccine development at GSK.

Gonorrhea is a serious concern for sexual and reproductive health all over the world due to its high and rising occurrence. This classification acknowledges the possibility of a vaccine that could assist in preventing millions of people worldwide from suffering the serious health effects of infection with a bacteria that the World Health Organization considers a “high priority” pathogen.”

Through vaginal contact with an infected partner, gonorrhea can easily spread from one person to another. Despite the fact that the disease can also be passed perinatally from mother to baby during childbirth, men have a 20 percent chance of contracting it through sexual activity.

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