Study: New Potential Antibiotic Treatment for Gonorrhea

Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Thursday, August 10th, 2017
A recently-published study has indicated that a new antibiotic may have the potential to treat gonorrhea. 

Growing antimicrobial resistance has made antibiotics increasingly less effective in treating gonorrhea. Lack of alternative treatments combined with the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials has rendered some strains of the disease untreatable, prompting researchers to seek out new antibiotic options.
Researchers from Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have tested a new antibiotic, closthioamide, on gonorrhea samples in a laboratory. The results demonstrated that the antibiotic has the potential to combat gonorrhea bacteria. The study was published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
In the study, the researchers tested closthioamide on 149 samples taken from patients hopspitalized with N gonorrhoeae. The patients had infections in the throat, urethra, cervix, and rectum. Very low amounts of the antibiotic demonstrated effectiveness against 146 of the samples taken, and against all of the samples provided by the World Health Organization, which were shown to be resistant to other antibiotics.
Although the study offered promising results, the antibiotic has yet to be tested on animals and humans. The researchers noted that discovering and developing new antibiotic treatments is a difficult and slow process. Further research is needed to assess the treatment’s safety and effectiveness, especially in humans.
Miari VF, Solanki P, Hleba Y, et al. In vitro susceptibility to closthioamide among clinical and reference strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00929-17

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