HealthDay News — Meningitis vaccine might provide some protection against gonorrhea, according to three studies published online April 12 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Winston E. Abara, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues identified laboratory-confirmed gonorrhea and chlamydia infections among individuals aged 16 to 23 years from New York City and Philadelphia in 2016 to 2018. Case records were linked to immunization registry records to determine serogroup B meningococcal outer membrane vesicle vaccine (MenB-4C) vaccination status at infection. The researchers found that of the 109,737 individuals with 167,706 infections, 7,692 were vaccinated, of whom 52.4, 46.7, and <1.0 percent had received one, two, and three doses, respectively. Complete and partial vaccination series were protective against gonorrhea compared with no vaccination (adjusted prevalence ratios, 0.60 and 0.74, respectively).
Bing Wang, Ph.D., from the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues examined vaccine effectiveness and the impact of the four-component serogroup B meningococcal (4CMenB) vaccine two years after implementation in 2018 (for infants and children aged 0 to 3 years) and 2019 (for children and young adults aged 15 to 20 years). The researchers found that the estimated two-dose vaccine effectiveness was 32.7 percent against gonorrhea in adolescents and young adults, using age-matched individuals with chlamydia as controls. In a third study, Lilith K. Whittles, Ph.D., from Imperial College London, and colleagues assessed the cost-effectiveness of vaccination against gonorrhea among men who have sex with men in England. They note that 4CMenB administered under a vaccination according to risk strategy would likely be cost-saving, averting an estimated mean of 110,200 cases and saving a mean of £7.9 million over 10 years.
“Future development of gonorrhea-specific vaccines should prioritize increasing efficacy over duration of protection,” Whittles and colleagues write.
Several authors from the Wang study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. One author from the Whittles study disclosed ties to Pfizer.