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What is the latest research on gonorrhea?

In terms of gonorrhea research, scientists have determined the sequence of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterial genome. The sequence represents an encyclopedia of information about the bacterium that causes gonorrhea. This accomplishment will give scientists important information as they try to develop a safe and effective vaccine and attempt to better understand how the bacterium becomes antibiotic resistant.

In addition, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is supporting a comprehensive program of research on gonorrhea with the overall goals of developing improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of the infection. Researchers are looking into how gonococci bypass the human immune system to infect cells. They are also examining the human response to gonococci infection, how the gonococci bacteria attaches to host cells, how it gets inside cells and how the gonococcal surface structures can change.

Because of the increase in antibiotic-resistant strains of the infection, scientists also hope to prevent antibiotic resistance from spreading and to develop new antibiotics.

The NIAID research is also examining potential topical microbicides, preparations that females can insert into the vagina to prevent gonorrhea infection.

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