A new class of antibiotic will help against "super-gonorrhea"
Studies show that the drug closthioamide, first obtained in 2010, may become the first representative of a new class of antibiotics capable of resisting pathogens that have acquired resistance to other drugs.
Doctors place special hopes on clostioamide in the fight against gonorrhea. Every year there are about 78 million cases of this disease in the world. The causative agent – the bacterium Gonococcus (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) – quickly becomes resistant to antibiotics. Already in the 1970s, gonococcus strains resistant to penicillin and its derivatives (ampicillin, doxycycline and others) began to spread. Currently, a combination of two antibiotics is used to treat gonorrhea: azithromycin and ceftriaxone. Their joint use should exclude the development of drug resistance in gonococcus. However, in May 2015, doctors noted cases of "super-gonorrhea", the causative agent of which was resistant to azithromycin. Chief Medical Officer England's Sally Davis said on this occasion: "There is a risk that gonorrhea will become incurable due to developing drug resistance."
Researchers from Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) tested clostioamide on 149 gonococcal cultures taken from patients. Very small doses of the drug were effective in 146 samples. Clostioamide also proved effective against resistant gonococcal samples provided by the World Health Organization.
The lead author of the study, Victoria Miari from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, commented on the results: "Antibiotic resistance, combined with a reduction in the development of new drugs, is one of the biggest health problems facing the world today. The problem threatens to make many human and animal infections incurable, including gonorrhea. In the absence of an effective vaccine to combat this infection, new antibiotics are urgently needed, since without treatment it can have very serious consequences. The results of our initial laboratory studies show that clostioamide has the potential to fight N.gonorrhoeae. Further research is needed, but its ability to successfully fight this infection, as well as other bacteria, should not be underestimated."
An important advantage of the new drug is that it can be synthesized artificially, that is, to obtain it, you do not need to resort to growing bacteria that produce an antibiotic.
Scientists note that a lot of time will pass before the use of clostioamide in clinical practice. The drug must be tested first on animals, and then on humans, in order to finally verify both its effectiveness and safety.
The results of the study are published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
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