Resistance’s End | How a Meningitis Vaccine May Kill Gonorrhea

As you may have heard, some diseases and illnesses are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics, including Gonorrhea. However, this sexually transmitted disease may have reached its end. A new study suggests that a vaccine that protects against a strain of meningitis may also work to stave off the sexually transmitted infection.

How is that possible? Although gonorrhea and meningitis are different from one another, the bacteria that cause them are actually related. Both are Neisseria bacteria, a large genus of bacteria that colonize the mucosal surfaces of many animals. Of the 11 species that colonize humans, only two are pathogens. The two? Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. One can sometimes trigger the other.

The study that found the connection between the meningitis vaccine and its relation to Gonorrhea was conducted in New Zealand. Teens and young adults there who had received a specially developed meningitis B vaccine during an emergency outbreak in the early 2000s saw a significantly lower incidence of the STD than the rate seen in people of the same age who weren’t vaccinated. Dr. Helen Petousis-Harris explained,

”There are vaccines for several Neisseria meningitidis strains, but designing a vaccine to protect against the B strain was a particularly difficult nut to crack. As a consequence, the vaccine component that was made to protect against B targets a different part of the bacterium.That may explain why the B vaccine appears to offer some protection against Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Meningococcal vaccines that protect against the other strains do not seem to have the same effect.”

Robin Gaitens, a spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline says, “While it is still very early days, these findings represent a positive step in the search for a vaccine against this common and distressing disease that is increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatment.” GSK owns the product that contains the meningitis component.

It is not clear how long the protection will actually last if it is effective. A new vaccine, or even a few years of protection, could help significantly reduce the spread of gonorrhea.

If a new vaccine is discovered, Dickson will be ready. We understand that monitoring the storage temperature of your vaccines can sometimes take a back seat to the care of patients, but with ongoing changes to monitoring regulations, it’s become as necessary as it is important. Thanks to DicksonOne, vaccine temperature monitoring has been made easy.

For more information on how to monitor your vaccines, or to learn how you can use DicksonOne to be VFC compliant, visit


Dickson has a variety of continuous monitoring products to meet your needs. Whether your tracking the stability of a vaccine, the accuracy of an oven or the stability of a chamber, Dickson has a solution for you.

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