Boston University School of Medicine researchers, with the help of University of Toronto researchers, are looking at using animal models of gonorrhea to come up with a vaccine that would prevent the STD infection.
And, it couldn’t be at a better time with the increasing concern of cases of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea infections.
The study looks at how the infection advances and determine how efficient the next generation of vaccines will be. A mouse model may not accurately portray the infection’s severity and the various kinds of human immune responses.
Since 2017, there have been over 550,000 new gonorrhea cases reported to the CDC – an increase of 67 percent since 2013. The World Health Organization said there are more than 106.1 million new cases each year of the STD. However, researchers believe the number could be even higher with many cases going unreported.
On top of that, reports show that there have been numerous cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, which makes it even more imperative to develop new gonorrhea vaccines that can tackle the sexually transmitted disease and use relevant animal models to test the effectiveness.
Dr. Lee M. Wetzler said using infectious diseases’ models to study pathogens and possible vaccine development is riddled with problems with many of the human-specific pathogens changing mechanisms of infection. It’s imperative, when using models, to ensure the infections are fully looked into to determine it would mimic the same reaction in humans as they do in animals.