Dr. Aleksandra Sikora Ph.D.
Dr. Aleksandra Sikora, a professor at OSU College of Pharmacy, and her colleague Konstantin Korotkov at the University of Kentucky, have discovered a new way to combat Neisseria Gonorrhoeae bacteria.
The crux of their discovery is a peptide inhibitor that binds to a protein called AniA on the outer surface of a bacterium and makes it inactive.
“This protein is a nonconventional target for antibiotics,” Sikora explains. “We found a completely new molecule that binds to this protein, disables its function and kills gonorrhea when it grows anaerobically.”
Worldwide, there are an estimated 78 million new cases of gonorrhea every year, 820,000 of them in the U.S. It is the second most commonly reported infectious disease in the nation. Many of these cases are untreatable as strains of the bacteria become increasingly resistant to traditional antibiotics — making Sikora’s breakthrough all the more important.
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Source: Oregon State University Advantage