The obligate human pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae; but the etiological agent of the eponymous sexually transmitting infection gonorrhea; poses a growing threat to global health. By blocking the ability of the bacterial pathogen; that causing this gonorrhea to uptake the mineral zinc can stop infection by this widespread sexually transmitted infection.
But gonorrhea vaccine development forward because they provide insight into how to block growth of this pathogen. No vaccine has been developing to prevent this serious infection. There are more than 820,000 new cases of gonorrhea each year in the United States, and more than half of these cases are estimated to be among young people 15 to 24 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pathogen that causing gonorrhea
Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the pathogen that causes gonorrhea, is considered to be an urgent threat because it has developed resistance to nearly every drug used for treatment, making it difficult to cure. But untreating gonorrhea can cause severe and permanent health problems in women and men; and most women do not have symptoms. Gonorrhea afflicts both men and women, with symptomatic infections in men presenting as urethritis and epididymitis, and in women as cervicitis.
In women, untreating gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease; which leads to infertility and ectopic pregnancies, life-threatening pregnancies that occur when a fertilized egg implants outside the womb. The study suggests a way to halt the growth of this sexually transmitted infection in the host’s body. The bacterial pathogen produces eight known outer membrane transporters. Four are using for the acquisition of iron or iron chelates.
Outer membrane proteins
But N. gonorrhoeae is challenging to prevent and treat because it has an arsenal of conserved outer membrane proteins that allow the pathogen to overcome nutritional immunity, the host’s strategy for sequestering essential nutrients away from invading bacteria and handicapping their infectious ability. This interaction is restricting to the human version of S100A7; and zinc presence in S100A7 is requiring to fully support gonococcal growth.
This interaction is only detecting with the human version of S100A7; which is significant because gonorrhea infection only occurs in humans; and thus the ability to use only human S100A7 contributes to the species specificity of the pathogen. These studies highlight how gonococci human nutritional immunity; by this presenting a novel interaction between the TdfJ and human S100A7 for overcoming host zinc restriction.