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Gonorrhea Infections Start From Exposure To Seminal Fluid

Researchers have come a step closer to understanding how gonorrhea infections are transmitted. When Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea, are exposed to seminal plasma, the liquid part of semen containing secretions from the male genital tract, they can more easily move and start to colonize. The research, led by investigators at Northwestern University in Chicago, appears in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

“Our study illustrates an aspect of biology that was previously unknown,” says lead study author Mark Anderson. “If seminal fluid facilitates motility, it could help transmit gonorrhea from person to person.”

Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted infection, is exclusive to humans and thrives in warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women, and in the urethra in women and men. It is estimated there are more than 100 million new cases of gonorrhea annually worldwide.
 
 

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