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Novel treatment for gonorrhea acts like a “live vaccine” and prevents reinfection, UB animal study shows

Administered intravaginally, microsphere treatment reverses suppression of immunity and circumvents antibiotic resistance.

A new gonorrhea treatment, based on an anti-cancer therapy developed by a Buffalo startup company, has successfully eliminated gonococcal infection from female mice and prevented reinfection, according to research published today by University at Buffalo scientists in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Through TherapyX Inc., an early stage biotech company in Buffalo, the UB researchers have a $300,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop the technology to treat and prevent gonorrhea infection. UB’s Office for Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach has filed for patent protection.

More than 100 million new gonococcal infections occur each year around the globe, according to the World Health Organization, which warns of a pending gonorrhea crisis due to soaring drug resistance rates. The infection can be asymptomatic but it also can cause extremely painful urination in men and pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy, in women. It may also make individuals more susceptible to infection with HIV/AIDS.

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