Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease with a high morbidity burden. Incidence of this disease is rising due to the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant strains. Neisseria gonorrhoeae
has shown an extraordinary ability to develop resistance to all antimicrobials introduced for its treatment. In fact, it was recently classified as a “Priority 2” microorganism in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Priority List of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria to Guide Research, Discovery and Development of New Antibiotics. Seeing as there is no gonococcal vaccine, control of the disease relies entirely on prevention, diagnosis, and, especially, antibiotic treatment. Different health organizations worldwide have established treatment guidelines against gonorrhea, mostly consisting of dual therapy with a single oral or intramuscular dose. However, gonococci continue to develop resistances to all antibiotics introduced for treatment. In fact, the first strain of super-resistant N.gonorrhoeae
was recently detected in the United Kingdom, which was resistant to ceftriaxone and azithromycin. The increase in the detection of resistant gonococci may lead to a situation where gonorrhea becomes untreatable. Seeing as drug resistance appears to be unstoppable, new treatment options are necessary in order to control the disease. Three approaches are currently being followed for the development of new therapies against drug-resistant gonococci: (1) novel combinations of already existing antibiotics; (2) development of new antibiotics; and (3) development of alternative therapies which might slow down the appearance of resistances. N. gonorrhoeae
is a public health threat due to the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant strains. Current treatment guidelines are already being challenged by this superbug. This has led the scientific community to develop new antibiotics and alternative therapies in order to control this disease.
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