Scientists analyze main mechanism of antimicrobial resistance in gonorrhea superbug


Gonorrhea from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is on the rise as a major public health burden worldwide, with an estimated 87 million new infections per year largely caused by the superbug Neisseria gonorrhoeae which experts fear will soon be incurable

In a new article, published in mBio, scientists from Flinders University and the Australian National University analyzed the main mechanism of antimicrobial resistance in this crafty organism, paving the way for new developments in treatment options.

Antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae has reached an alarming level “,

Melissa Brown, lead author of the Flinders study, professor of microbiology, Flinders University

The World Health Organization has classified N. gonorrhoeae as one of 12 antimicrobial resistant bacterial species that pose the greatest risk to human health, motivating medical researchers around the world to seek alternative treatments.

“We have to find the strengths and weaknesses of these species and in this study we focused on how drugs are pumped out of these cells, which helps the superbug to become more resistant and able to survive treatment. by several drugs, “said Professor Brown. said.

“Such treatment failures subsequently lead to increased medical costs and decreased general human and reproductive health.”

Working with ANU colleagues led by Associate Professor Megan O’Mara, the Australian research team identified a unique region at the drug pump that plays a role in the positioning of the protein on the surface of the bacteria allowing it to function optimally.

“This could be a future target for the development of antibiotics or antimicrobials,” says first author of the new paper Mohsen Chitsaz, whose doctoral study at Flinders University is supported by a scholarship from the training program at Australian government research.

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