• European surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae

      Cole, Michelle J; Chisholm, Stephanie A; Hoffmann, Steen; Stary, Angelika; Lowndes, Catherine M; Ison, Catherine A; Hauksdottir, Gudrun; Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory, Health Protection Agency, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK. michelle.cole@hpa.org.uk (Bmj Publishing Group, 2010-11)
      OBJECTIVE: To perform a European sentinel surveillance study for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae as part of the European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections Programme. METHODS: From 2006 to 2008 17 countries participated in the AMR surveillance programme. The susceptibility of a total of 3528 consecutive isolates was tested using the agar dilution breakpoint technique or Etests for ciprofloxacin, penicillin, tetracycline, azithromycin, spectinomycin and ceftriaxone. Nitrocefin was used to detect β-lactamase activity. RESULTS: Rates of resistance to ciprofloxacin, the previously recommended treatment, were high across Europe (42-52%), indicating that usage is no longer appropriate. Although resistance to the currently recommended treatment, ceftriaxone, was not demonstrated, a concerning upward drift in the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) distribution was identified since an earlier European study in 2004. No resistance to spectinomycin was seen, whereas azithromycin resistance varied from 2% to 7% and isolates from Scotland (n=4) and Ireland (n=1) showed high-level resistance (MIC >256 mg/l). High-level resistance to tetracycline and penicillin remained relatively constant at 16% and 12%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: AMR is an ongoing problem in Europe, with high rates of resistance to many previously recommended therapeutic agents observed in many European countries. Continual European and global surveillance of AMR in N gonorrhoeae is essential to monitor for increasing, emerging and high-level resistance to therapeutically relevant agents and to inform treatment guidelines so optimum treatments are administered.
    • Hydrogels containing monocaprin have potent microbicidal activities against sexually transmitted viruses and bacteria in vitro

      Thormar, H; Bergsson, G; Gunnarsson, E; Georgsson, G; Witvrouw, M; Steingrimsson, Olafur; De Clercq, E; Kristmundsdottir, T; Institute of Biology, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. (Bmj Publishing Group, 1999-06-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To investigate the in vitro microbicidal and cytocidal potency of monocaprin dissolved in pharmaceutical hydrogel formulations and to evaluate their potential use as vaginal microbicides against sexually transmitted pathogens such as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), Chlamydia trachomatis, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. METHODS: Gel formulations were mixed with equal volumes of virus/bacteria suspensions in culture medium and incubated for 1 and 5 minutes. The reduction in virus/bacteria titre was used as a measure of microbicidal activity. Similarly, gels were mixed with human semen to study their effect on leucocytes. The toxicity of the gels was tested in rabbits by the standard vaginal irritation test. RESULTS: Gels containing 20 mM of monocaprin caused a greater than 100,000-fold inactivation of HSV-2 and Neisseria in 1 minute and of Chlamydia in 5 minutes. Similarly, the gels caused a greater than 10,000-fold inactivation of HIV-1 in semen in 1 minute. They caused more than a 10,000-fold reduction in the number of viable leucocytes in semen in 1 minute. No toxic effect on the vaginal mucosa of rabbits was observed after daily exposure for 10 days. CONCLUSIONS: Hydrogels containing monocaprin are potent inactivators of sexually transmitted viruses and bacteria in vitro. This simple lipid seems to be a feasible choice as a mucosal microbicide for prevention of sexually transmitted infections. It is a natural compound found in certain foodstuffs such as milk and is therefore unlikely to cause harmful side effects in the concentrations used.