Roger-Luc Chayer

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, Quebec health authorities have been able to observe a sharp rise in sexually transmitted diseases in all regions of Quebec. Although most are relatively treatable, except for the most serious such as HIV, resistant gonorrhea or lymphogranuloma venereum, drugs used for other conditions are beginning to prove their worth, replacing certain antibiotics. Let’s talk about these new alternatives…

Bexsero is a vaccine usually used to immunize patients against group B meningitis and its serious consequences such as septicemia (fatal blood infection). However, recently, it has proven to be quite effective against gonorrhea. Although the use of this vaccine is not yet officially approved to prevent gonorrhea, many doctors specializing in the field of STBBIs are increasingly prescribing it.
Dr. Troy Grennan, physician in charge of the HIV/STI program at the BC Center for Disea-se Control, explained that the reason Bexsero is thought to work in the prevention of gonorrhea as well as meningitis is that the two diseases are caused by a related bacterium.

“The idea is that the meningitis vaccine actually targets an area where there is overlap between the two organisms,” he told This would therefore be a first, because we are talking about a preventive vaccine against one of the most frequent sexually transmitted infections. The duration of its effectiveness is not yet known, research is continuing.

Another antibiotic known for a long time and used to treat various infections of the respiratory tract or urinary tract is used by some doctors not to treat, but to prevent against syphilis. You read correctly, prevention. The advantage of this therapy is that we can treat communities very exposed to this serious disease by putting a preventive shield that would prevent the bacteria from invading the body from the start. It would in fact be a question of giving a low daily dose of this antibiotic to sexually active patients who are not used to protecting themselves with a condom.

On the other hand, some opponents of the use of this antibiotic believe that it is possible to cause more harm than good by chronically exposing a patient to an antibiotic that is currently very effective against other infections. We are talking here about a resistance that could occur after a certain time and this would have the effect of no longer allowing the use of this antibiotic against other infections. Worse, this use, not yet approved by Health Canada, could lead to the occurrence of resistant infections, a kind of super-pneumonia or super-urinary tract infections that could possibly lead to death. Further studies need to be done.