York University Scientists have confirmed therapeutic effects of carbon monoxide-releasing molecules to develop a new antibiotic which could be used to treat the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea. Scientists believe the breakthrough, published in the journal MedChemComm, could pave the way for new treatments.
Tackling a Drug-Resistant STD
There are concerns that gonorrhea is becoming untreatable. The STI has become a highly drug-resistant strain as of late, with new cases reported in northern Japan and England..
When asked about the process, Professor Ian Fairlamb said:
“The carbon monoxide molecule targets the engine room, stopping the bacteria from respiring. Gonorrhea only has one enzyme that needs inhibiting and then it can’t respire oxygen and it dies. People will be well aware that CO is a toxic molecule but that is at high concentrations. Here we are using very low concentrations which we know the bacteria are sensitive to. We are looking at a molecule that can be released in a safe and controlled way to where it is needed.”
Next Steps for Bringing the Gonnorhea Treatment to Light
The next stage is to develop a pill or cream drug so that the research results can be translated for future clinical trials.
Professor Fairlamb added:
“We think our study is an important breakthrough. It isn’t the final drug yet but it is pretty close to it. People might perceive gonorrhea as a trivial bacterial infection, but the disease is becoming more dangerous and resistant to antibiotics.”
This development could mean a faster and more effective treatment for those diagnosed with gonorrhea, and it is hoped that this potential solution will come sooner than later.