Sexually transmitted disease
New antibiotic shown to be effective against gonorrhoea superbug
A new class of antibiotic is effective against Neisseria gonorrhoeae, one of the leading antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threats worldwide, according to researchers from Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Closthioamide was discovered in 2010 after it was isolated from the anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium cellulolyticum. The antibiotic has a high potency with multi-drug resistant bacteria, which is why it was chosen as a candidate for the study.
In the UK study, published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (online, 7 August 2017), closthioamide was tested against 149 clinical samples of gonorrhoea, as well as 8 N. gonorrhoeae isolates from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The researchers found that closthioamide inhibited the growth of 98% of the clinical gonococcal strains at just ≤0.125mg/L, suggesting a low therapeutic dose concentration that would reduce any potential toxicity. It was also found that the WHO isolates, which were known to be resistant to current first-line therapeutic agents, were susceptible to closthioamide, suggesting that the antibiotic could also be clinically effective against multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea.
Further studies to evaluate the clinical potential of the antibiotic are required in light of the public health threat posed by gonorrhoea, the researchers conclude.
“The imminent threat of untreatable antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases, including gonorrhoea, is a global problem, for which we urgently need new antibiotics,” said John Heap, lead author of the study from Imperial College’s department of life sciences.
“This new finding might help us take the lead in the arms race against antimicrobial resistance.”
However, he also said that it would be a number of years before the drug could potentially be used in real-life human cases.
“The next step will be to continue lab research to further assess the drug’s safety and effectiveness,” he said.
Since the discovery of penicillin, N. gonorrhoeae has developed resistance to every therapeutic antimicrobial agent used. The last reliable classes of antibiotics recommended for empirical treatment of N. gonorrhoeae infection are contained in a dual therapy for gonorrhoea, ceftriaxone and azithromycin, which was introduced in 2011.
Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203366
Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press
This new edition of Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy and Medicines Law is the definitive guide to law and ethics for pharmacy practice in the UK. It covers law and professional regulation and is firmly established as the definitive student textbook and reference work on this subject in the UK. Fully updated to include changes to pharmacy laws and regulation.£57.00
Pharmacy Registration Assessment Questions 2 features more than 400 entirely new, closed book and calculation questions. It can be used in conjunction with the previous volume or on its own. All questions are in line with current GPhC guidance, enabling you to prepare for the pharmaceutical pre-registration exam with confidence.£35.00
Pharmacy Registration Assessment Questions 3 is the third volume in a series that follows on from the previous, highly popular Pharmacy Registration Assessment Questions 2. It features more than 400 entirely new, closed book and calculation questions. It can be used in conjunction with the previous volume or on its own.£35.00
Pharmacy Registration Assessment Questions features over 400 closed book and calculation questions. With the registration exam having gone through a complete transformation in 2016, this volume has been developed around the new General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) guidelines.£33.00
Written for new pharmaceutical scientists, this book provides a background in paediatric pharmacy and a comprehensive introduction to children's medication.£33.00