Use of a meningococcal group B vaccine (4CMenB) in populations at high risk of gonorrhoea in the UK

Shamez N. Ladhani*, Peter J. White, Helen Campbell, Sema Mandal, Ray Borrow, Nick Andrews, Sunil Bhopal, John Saunders, Hamish Mohammed, Lana Drisdale-Gordon, Emma Callan, Katy Sinka, Kate Folkard, Helen Fifer, Mary E. Ramsay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The meningococcal group B vaccine, 4CMenB, is a broad-spectrum, recombinant protein vaccine that is licensed for protection against meningococcal group B disease in children and adults. Over the past decade, several observational studies supported by laboratory studies have reported protection by 4CMenB against gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhoea is a major global public health problem, with rising numbers of diagnoses and increasing resistance to multiple antibiotics. In England, more than 82 000 cases of gonorrhoea were diagnosed in 2022, with nearly half of the cases diagnosed among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. There are currently no licensed vaccines against gonorrhoea but 4CMenB is estimated to provide 33–47% protection against gonorrhoea. On Nov 10, 2023, the UK Joint Scientific Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation agreed that a targeted programme should be initiated using 4CMenB to prevent gonorrhoea among individuals at higher risk of infection attending sexual health services in the UK. This decision was made after reviewing evidence from retrospective and prospective observational studies, laboratory and clinical data, national surveillance reports, and health economic analyses. In this Review, we summarise the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease and gonorrhoea in England, the evidence supporting the use of 4CMenB for protection against gonorrhoea, and the data needed to inform long-term programme planning and extension to the wider population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

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© 2024


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