Rinsing With Mouthwash May Treat Gonorrhea

A preliminary study suggests a few minutes of gargling mouthwash may help fight off the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, at least in the short term.

By | December 21, 2016


Cases of gonorrhea have risen sharply in the past few years, but Australian researchers are testing a cheap, easy treatment: mouthwash. In a study published this week (December 20) in Sexually Transmitted Infections, the researchers found that the commercial mouthwash Listerine could kill off the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, in the lab as well as in a preliminary clinical study.

In the clinical study, 58 gay or bisexual men who had previously tested positive for gonorrhea were asked to rinse and gargle with Listerine for several minutes. After the rinse, only 52 percent still had a detectable amount of the bacteria in their throats, compared to 84 percent in a control group that gargled with salt water. The result suggests that the alcohol-heavy mouthwash may suppress N. gonorrhoeae, though whether regular use can stave off infection in the long term remains to be seen.

“If daily use of mouthwash was shown to reduce the duration of untreated infection and/or reduce the probability of acquisition of N. gonorrhoeae, then this readily available, condom-less, and low cost intervention may have very significant public health implications,” the authors write. 

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Running on Empty
    Features Running on Empty

    Regularly taking breaks from eating—for hours or days—can trigger changes both expected, such as in metabolic dynamics and inflammation, and surprising, as in immune system function and cancer progression.

  2. Athletes’ Microbiomes Differ from Nonathletes
  3. Mutation Linked to Longer Life Span in Men
  4. Gut Feeling
    Daily News Gut Feeling

    Sensory cells of the mouse intestine let the brain know if certain compounds are present by speaking directly to gut neurons via serotonin.