Resistance Guided Therapy
New STI testing technology is helping to overcome antibiotic resistance. Ordinary tests work by detecting the unique DNA of bacteria, such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. New tests now enable the additional detection of DNA sequences that indicate a ‘resistance gene’, meaning certain antibiotics may not work if prescribed. This information is extremely valuable to your doctor, allowing them to use Resistance Guided Therapy to prescribe antibiotics that are most likely to treat your strain of infection. This can improve cure rate, treatment time and cost, as well as helping to overcome the global threat of antibiotic resistance.
An example of Resistance Guided Therapy is a new approach to gonorrhoea management. The current treatment for gonorrhoea involves a painful injection of the antibiotic ceftriaxone – one of the last effective antibiotics for gonorrhoea. Using Resistance Guided Therapy, scientists can detect gonorrhoea as well as whether it has genes making it vulnerable to a simple oral antibiotic known as ciprofloxacin. This is beneficial as the patient won’t even require an injection anymore, and the cure rate can increase. Doctors can also save the injection as a last-line antibiotic for those who really need it.
This technology can be applied to other STIs as well – identifying if the contracted STI is resistant or susceptible to available antibiotics, and allowing doctors to prescribe the best antibiotic for their patients.