Australian scientists have discovered how gonorrhea eludes the immune system and paves the way for new therapies to treat the increasingly antibiotic-resistant sexually transmitted infection.
The molecular biologists Thomas Naderer and dr. Pankaj Deo from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute microscopically tracked immune cells and gonorrhea and monitored each movement for more than two days.
What they discovered was that Neisseria gonorrhea bacteria produced "small packets" called vesicles, which over time cause immune cells
The vesicles only look like immune cells to bacteria trying to kill them to destroy. But instead of destroying them, they accumulate in the immune cells in large numbers, Dr. Naderer.
"Over time, these immune cells lose their function to function properly and eventually they die, so we think that this is one of the mechanisms of how the gonorrhea-causing bacteria in our body survive," he said.
The scientists say if they can block the bubbles, they can keep the immune cells alive longer to kill the invading gonorrhea bacteria.
Every year, more than 1
63% Increase in Gonorrhea in Australia Over the last five years, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea has developed rapidly.
It was only this week that the world's first confirmed case of multidrug-resistant gonorrhea was reported by public health (19659010). Naderer says new ways to treat gonorrhea are needed "because we run out of antibiotics."
Gonorrhea is usually treated with a combination of antibiotics azithromycin and ceftriaxone.
A surveillance report released in February showed cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea had tripled within six months in Australia.
"We start to think of different ways to treat these infections and perhaps boost the immune system, bringing it back to full function could well be a powerful way," Dr. Naderer.