Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae share between 80% and 90% of their genetic sequence. Meningococcal serogroup B vaccines based on outer membrane vesicles-such as VA-MENGOC-BC-could cross-protect against gonorrhea. The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence rates of gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases with respect to the use of the VA-MENGOC-BC vaccine.
Health statistics between 1970 and 2017 were reviewed and the incidence of meningococcal disease and sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, syphilis, condyloma acuminatum , hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus infection) were analyzed during the pre- and post-vaccination periods.
Gonorrhea incidence was also analyzed by age groups. Results: VA-MENGOC-BC was successfully used to control a meningococcal epidemic in Cuba. The strategy to combat the epidemic was carried out in two stages. The first one was a nationwide mass-vaccination campaign from 1989 to 1990, targeting the population at highest-risk aged 3 months to 24 years. During the second stage, begun in 1991, it was included in the Expanded Immunization Program. Gonorrhea incidence increased from 1970 to 1989. However, after the VA-MENGOC-BC massive vaccination campaign a sharp decrease of gonorrhea incidence was observed. It lasted between 1989 and 1993. A second incidence peak was detected in 1995, but it dropped again. Data clearly show a decline in the incidence of gonorrhea following massive vaccination, in contrast with other sexually transmitted diseases. Incidence rates in unvaccinated age groups also decreased, probably due to herd immunity. Conclusion: There is evidence that VA-MENGOC-BC could induce a moderate protection against gonorrhea.
See Clinical and Experimental Vaccine Research. 2019 Jul; 8 (2) : 110-115.
A meningococcal B vaccine induces cross-protection against gonorrhea.
Rolando Felipe Ochoa Azze