A New Antibiotic for Gonorrhea

A New Antibiotic for Gonorrhea

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria responsible for the sexually transmitted infection (STI) known as gonorrhea, infect more than 500,000 people in the United States each year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists multi-drug resistant (MDR) gonorrhea as one of the top 5 most dangerous and urgent threats to public health. However, researchers have demonstrated that just one oral dose of a new antibiotic effectively treats mice infected with a virulent MDR strain of gonorrhea called WHO-X.

While many current antibiotics work by interfering with the translation from mRNA to proteins within bacterial cells, this new drug inhibits a different molecular pathway in the ribosome called trans-translation. Trans-translation is a process that bacteria use to correct certain errors made during protein synthesis. Importantly, trans-translation is unique to bacteria and does not occur in humans, meaning the drug is highly selective and less likely to have off-target effects.

The scientists tested over 500 modified versions of this new antibacterial compound in order to identify the promising drug used in this study. The fact that the drug is effective as a single dose therapy is significant since bacteria are more likely to develop resistance when patients fail to adhere to multidose schedules as prescribed.

Further, the new drug has shown broad-spectrum activity and is likely effective against other Gram-positive bacteria, such as those responsible for tuberculosis and staph infections. Although additional studies are needed, these results have laid the groundwork for a novel and viable antibiotic strategy.

TransPharm Preclinical Solutions has validated a mouse model of infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Contact us today to receive a free, no-obligation quote and a complimentary consultation regarding your research project.

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