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OSU Research Promising As Basis For Gonorrhea Vaccine

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.
NIAID
/
Flickr.com
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.

Cases of gonorrhea have more than tripled in Oregon since 2007, according to the Oregon Health Authority. But as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, Oregon State University researchers may be nearing the development of a vaccine.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.
Credit NIAID / Flickr.com
/
Flickr.com
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.

 

Gonorrhea can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even blindness in babies born to infected mothers.

And the pathogen behind this sexually-transmitted disease is highly resistant to all classes of antibiotics, earning it the dubious title of “superbug”.

But OSU College of Pharmacy researcher Aleksandra Sikora and her team have identified a pair of proteins she says play critical functions in the cell membrane, making them excellent candidates for inclusion in a vaccine. She hopes their work will inspire efforts worldwide.

“It is very critical that now a serious, international, multidisciplinary commitment should be made that would involve coordination, cooperation, and financial investment to make gonorrhea vaccine a reality.”

The National Institutes of Health is supporting OSU’s research. The findings are in the latest Journal of Bacteriology.

Copyright 2017, KLCC. 

Copyright 2017 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.