“Gonorrhea researchers identify novel route to vaccine, new antibiotic”
“Researchers have identified a protein that powers the virulence of the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, opening the possibility of a new target for antibiotics and, even better, a vaccine.
The findings, published today in PLOS Pathogens, are especially important since the microbe, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is considered a “superbug” because of its resistance to all classes of antibiotics available for treating infections.
Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that results in 78 million new cases worldwide each year, is highly damaging if untreated or improperly treated.
It can lead to endometritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, epididymitis and infertility. Babies born to infected mothers are at increased risk of blindness.
“The infections very often are silent,” said Oregon State University researcher Aleksandra Sikora. “Up to 50 percent of infected women don’t have symptoms, but those asymptomatic cases can still lead to some very severe consequences for the patient’s reproductive health, miscarriage or premature delivery.”
The need for better antibiotic therapy, and a vaccine, is pressing. N. gonorrhoeae strains resistant to the last effective treatment options have emerged, and failures in treatment are occurring.
Source: Medical Press