A randomised controlled trial of daily antibacterial mouthwash to reduce pharyngeal gonorrhoea among men who have sex with men (MSM) (NHMRC Project Grant led by Monash University) (2017–2019)

This is a double-blinded randomised control trial to examine the effectiveness of daily antibacterial mouthwash for 12 weeks to reduce pharyngeal gonorrhoea among men who have sex with men (MSM). Gonorrhoea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) cases in Australia have doubled over the last five years. Our team conducted a series of studies to show that N. gonorrhoeae can be cultured in human¿s saliva, suggesting that it and the pharynx plays an important role in gonorrhoea transmission via kissing, oral sex and saliva use as a lubricant. Furthermore our work also suggests pharyngeal gonorrhoea may be the main driver of community prevalence. No public health interventions have succeeded in reducing gonorrhoea over the last decade and its incidence remains high and rising. Antibiotic resistance to gonorrhoea is also rising and will make treatment more difficult. We have pilot in-vitro, in-vivo, modelling, and acceptability data demonstrating efficacy of Listerine for pharyngeal gonorrhoea. Hence, we are proposing a safe, cheap and effective behavioural intervention (i.e. gargle Listerine mouthwash daily) that could have an inhibitory effect on pharyngeal gonorrhoea without causing antimicrobial resistance. If Listerine is shown to be effective for preventing pharyngeal gonorrhoea, this intervention could be rapidly implemented in the community, potentially making a profound change in national and international strategies of gonorrhoea prevention and control, and reducing the burden of gonorrhoea in MSM.
Grant type:
Monash University
Funded by:
Monash University