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Forum on Immunopathological Diseases and Therapeutics
SJR: 0.164 SNIP: 0.041 CiteScore™: 0.18

ISSN Print: 2151-8017
ISSN Online: 2151-8025

Archives: Volume 1, 2010 to Volume 7, 2016

Forum on Immunopathological Diseases and Therapeutics

DOI: 10.1615/ForumImmunDisTher.2017020535
pages 255-264

Gonorrhea: Immune Escape and Immunotherapeutic Strategies

Ailina Heng Lao
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Benjamin Bonavida
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, Johnson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90025-1747


The sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) remains a health hazard and its incidence continues to rise throughout the world. It has been challenging to develop a protective vaccine or other means to both prevent infection and treat infected individuals. The bacteria undergo continuous genetic variations, which is responsible in large part for the failure of developing a vaccine that can recognize all of the antigenic variants. In addition, the microorganism also inhibits the host immune system via its ability to suppress both cell-mediated and antibody-mediated immune responses directly. Clearly, these various immune escape mechanisms that are mediated by gonorrhea mimic the various escape mechanisms mediated by most cancers. Most recently, several novel immunotherapeutic strategies have been developed to overcome cancer immune resistance, suggesting the possibility that such novel therapeutic strategies, which are successful in various cancers, can be applied to gonorrheal infections. This mini-review discusses briefly the pathogenesis of NG infection and the various mechanisms of resistance to both antibiotics and to vaccines and suggests alternatives to overcome resistance with the development of both preventive and treatment strategies.

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