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New antibiotic could treat gonorrhoea

Tuesday August 8th, 2017

A relatively new antibiotic could be used to tackle the increase in incidence of drug-resistant gonorrhoea, British researchers say.

Researchers from Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, England, have for the first time tested closthioamide, which was discovered in 2010, on 149 N.gonorrhoeae samples in the laboratory.

They found that 0.125mg/L of closthioamide was effective against 146 of 149 samples taken from patients, and against all of the samples provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that were known to be resistant to other antibiotics.

The antibiotic has not yet been tested on animals and humans, but the researchers believe this is a potentially exciting development. Their findings were published last night in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Lead author Dr John Heap, from Imperial’s Department of Life Sciences, said: “The imminent threat of untreatable antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases, including gonorrhoea, is a global problem, for which we urgently need new antibiotics. This new finding might help us take the lead in the arms race against antimicrobial resistance.”

Victoria Miari, lead author from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, added: “The results of our initial laboratory studies show that closthioamide has the potential to combat N. gonorrhoeae.

"Further research is needed, but its potential to successfully tackle this infection, as well as other bacteria, cannot be underestimated.”

Dr Heap said the next step in their research will be to assess the drug’s safety and effectiveness.

Miari V, Solanki P, Hleba H et al. In vitro susceptibility to closthioamide among clinical and reference strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 7 August 2017.

Tags: Men's Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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