The ability of one microbe to adapt is giving it a whole new career as a sexually transmitted disease. Usually content with the back of the throat and nose of those who carry it, the dangerous pathogen Neisseria meningitidis has adapted to cause an illness that looks a lot like gonorrhea.

In 2015, a health clinic in Columbus, Ohio, experienced an upswing in the number of heterosexual men seeking treatment for urethritis, an inflammation of the urethra that causes painful urination. Initially thought to be due to infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, doctors… more

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