The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis and how we can overcome it

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance or AMR occurs when microorganisms build resistance to an antibiotic drug. With AMR on the rise, the World Health Organization has deemed this a top 10 global public health threat. This is not only an issue for humans but other living organisms, such as livestock. Therefore, industry and research leaders around the world have come together in recent years in order to combat this crisis.

STIs are not the only infections developing a resistance to antibiotics

A common misconception is STIs are the main disease developing resistance to drugs. While many STIs are indeed resorting to their last line of defence, like gonorrhoea, there are still many other infections that are facing these issues with AMR, notably tuberculosis. There is also mycobacterium, both tuberculosis mycobacterium and non-tuberculosis mycobacterium that are getting increasingly hard to treat. These infections can all have serious health impacts when untreated.

Treating “resistant” sexually transmitted diseases

With the increase in resistance to the frontline treatments used by clinicians, Resistance Guided Therapy is being adopted. This means developing a treatment plan tailored to the specific infection the patient has developed. This is where quality diagnostic tests become extremely important, as Resistance Guided Therapy is only possible when accurately identifying the infection. This is becoming the preferred method to treat infections like gonorrhoea and Mycoplasma genitalium. 

The “undetected” sexually transmitted disease

Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted disease, often going undetected. M. genitalium infections can be challenging to diagnose because the symptoms are often similar to those of other sexually transmitted infections. Studies have shown that one third of patients presenting with symptoms of cervicitis or urethritis have no known cause of infection. With the event of repetitive testing after failed treatments for other infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, it has been determined that many of those patients were infected with M. genitalium. M. genitalium is often resistant to many antibiotics. This makes it a particularly challenging infection to treat, as traditional antibiotics are often ineffective against it. 

The importance of advanced diagnostics

Prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment of M. genitalium infections are essential to prevent the spread of the infection and to avoid potentially serious health consequences. Alignment within all parts of the diagnostics process is essential to deliver a solution as quickly as possible. This means developing a diagnostics kit but also having positive controls and quality assurance panels available at the same time or shortly after to get those options on the market promptly. This also means healthcare professionals and industry leaders collaborating in order to further develop this industry and continue to provide the best line of care for patients.

Microbix’s approach to the MGEN Crisis 

Microbix is proud to offer External Quality Controls & RUO (QAPs™) for STI Molecular and Immunoassay Diagnostics. 

– Contains Mycoplasma genitalium whole-genome with macrolide resistant point mutations (specifically in the 23S rRNA target gene), and human cells to meet sample adequacy requirements

– Wild type Mycoplasma genitalium samples are available in liquid format; stable at 2-8°C; formulated in ThinPrep® PreservCyt®

– Whole-process samples (including extraction). 

– Inactivated to meet clinical laboratory biosafety requirements and verified performance on leading IVD platforms. 

– They are also commutable and cross-platform compatible. 

– The 1mL vials are stable at 2-8°C, making storage easy. 

Contact us to learn more or place an order on our STI panel.

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