LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – New Zealand has succeeded in alleviating an infectious child with a new type of vaccine.
Decades later, scientists from the South Pacific nations have found that it is possible to criticize the fight against an old, sexually transmitted infection that returns: gonorrhea.
This stimulates the optimism that a rapidly spreading disease can be slowed down by using a vaccine already on the market to prevent its bacterial relative – the so-called meningococcal bacteria known to cause potentially lethal meningitis epidemics in college homes, such as recent on campuses in San Diego and Massachusetts.
While gonorrhea is not life-threatening, it's now on the verge of becoming unstoppable due to antibiotic resistance.
Doctors also report that gonorrhea behaves like related infections that are present in the throat, where microbes can be covered with kisses.
This further emphasizes the urgency of finding new ways to stop the crime, which has widened its attitude towards minority groups, including gay men, in the wider community.
Cases jumped 19 percent in the US last year, with similar trends recorded around the world.
Although there is no immunization against gonorrhea, studies show that a licensed vaccine produced by GlakoSmithKline Plc can provide at least partial protection.
"In addition to the development of a new drug or the like, there is nothing," said Dr. Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccineologist at the University of Auckland, who worked with colleagues to show for the first time that the custom-made meningococcal B shot was associated with protection of the STI known as Colloquially Clap.
"This has opened up a whole program of work to be done with a lot of questions to be answered."
The clip that New Zealand immunized 1.1 million people between 2004 and 2006 in people six months to 20 years old was different from typical meningococcal vaccines.
The aim was to stimulate antibodies against additional properties common to both calls called external membrane vesicles. Scientists assume this can be an important source of cross-protection.
No one knows yet how this cross-cutting could work or how long. Responding to these questions is key to determining whether the vaccines targeting these external external membranes, such as Glaco's Bexero, can help alleviate the spread of gonorrhea.
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"Basically unpacking the magic of discovering what it is," said Dr. Petousis-Harris over the phone from Auckland.
Her work in the medical journal Lancet last year was assessed that vaccination against meningococcal B resulted in an effective rate of 31 percent against gonorrhea.
This has increased interest in the field, according to researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Uniformed Services University in Maryland.
"While Beckero may not be the right answer, we are much closer to responding to gonorrhea than we have been for a long time," said Dr. Leah Vincent, a scientist at the institute, in a telephone interview.
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GlakoSmithKline has not yet decided whether to target a gonorrhea with Bexero, which will produce $ 780 million this year (S $ 1.07 billion), only as a meningococcal B vaccine. The product has a retail price in the US of about $ 166 per dose.
Drug manufacturers review the results of independent studies and discuss with health authorities and external researchers about the potential evaluation of Bexer as a way to prevent gonorrhea, the London company said in response to questions via e-mail.
In the meantime, it improves the development of antibiotics of gepotidacin for the treatment of the disease after the completion of a two-month study study.
"GSK is aware of the increased public health needs for the prevention of gonorrhea, especially in the light of antimicrobial resistance and exploring ways to contribute our expertise to this important issue," the company said.
Gonorrhea has jumped six times to the main Australian cities over the past decade and 78 million new infections come worldwide every year.
The standard drug for drugs costs $ 21.66 per treatment in low- and middle-income countries, Dr. Vincent and Dr Anne Jerse, Uniformed Services University, published in April.
Establishing a test patient with a Beksero double-dose regime for American adolescents can prevent nearly 84,000 infections and save nearly $ 70 million in total costs, they said.
The fully portable bacteria quickly develop resistance to antibiotics compared to other organisms, said Dr Jerse over the phone.
"Although there are drugs in the pipeline, it will be a short-term solution, so the vaccine really matters, and the time is right now."
Gonerrhea uses a specific protein to defeat the first line of defense in the body, said Dr Jerse and colleagues at the Oregon State University's Pharmacy University in July, opening a new way to develop new antibiotics and vaccines.
Gonoreja, an ancient disease that Greek physician Galen recognized in the second century, often does not cause any symptoms, especially in the throat, which allows him to expand unnoticed.
Left untreated, the disease can cause a number of complications from infertility and ectopic pregnancy, to premature birth and blindness.
Gonorrhea cases for which there is currently no standard therapy have been discovered in Australia and the UK, published in a report last month at the House of Representatives in London. Health authorities warn of the extreme cases that come.
"Like many illnesses, we forget how bad they are," said Dr. Kate Seib, who helped Bexero develop in Siena, Italy, for Novartis AG, which sold the vaccine to Glacou in 2015.
"But nobody kills, so people are not worried yet."
No studies have proven that Beksero can prevent gonorrhea, Dr. Seib said.
Findings in New Zealand, Cuba and Quebec, showing the link between vaccination and subsequent reduction of gonorrhea, are "very promising, but only observation," she said.
A quick way to determine if the vaccine could reduce the risk of gonorrhea is Becker's testing in a randomized controlled trial among thousands of gay and bisexual men who take a pill to prevent HIV, Dr. Seib said.
The so-called prophylaxis prophylaxis, or PrEP, helped relieve AIDS-causing infections, but is associated with an annual risk of gonorrhea reaching 40 percent.
If such a study is successful, the results should be validated in a larger population that would be "extremely expensive," said Dr Charlene Kahler, head of infection and immunity at the School of Biomedical Universities of Vestern Australia Science in Perth.
Bacterial causes of meningococcal disease and gonorrhea share 80-90 percent of their DNA, and the results of studies using animal models support the use of Beaker for the control of gonorrhea.
Still, measuring success is challenging, as there is no known way to measure gonorrhea protection in humans, Dr. Kahler said in a telephone interview.
Even a modest level of vaccine effect could stop "almost exponentially" increasing gonorrhea around the world and slow the evolution of drug-resistant cases, said Professor Christopher Fairlei, director of the Melbourne Sexual Health Center.
"We must stop expecting that these words to people" reduce the number of partners and use the condom "will work because it does not work," said prof. Fairlei, who is also Professor of Public Health at Melbourne University Monash in an interview.
"We have to deal with this reality. We need to start exploring other methods."