Antibiotic resistance in prevalent bacterial and protozoan sexually transmitted infections

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The emergence of multi-drug resistant sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is causing a treatment crisis across the globe. While cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea is one of the most pressing issues, extensively antibiotic resistant Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma hominis are also becoming commonplace. Experts have suggested that the failure of current treatment regimens are “largely inevitable” and have called for entirely new classes of antimicrobial agents. With the exception of several new classes of drugs primarily targeting nosocomial infections, progress has been slow. While pharmaceutical companies continue to introduce new drugs, they are based on decade-old discoveries. While there is disagreement about what constitutes new classes of antibiotics, many experts suggest that the last truly new family of antimicrobials was discovered in 1987. This review summarizes the existing literature on antibiotic resistance in common bacterial and protozoal STIs. It also briefly discusses several of the most promising alternatives to current therapies, and further examines how advances in drug delivery, formulation, concentration, and timing are improving the efficacy of existing treatments. Finally, the paper discusses the current state of pharmaceutical development for multidrug-resistant STI.

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