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© The Author(s) 2020. Background: Reducing Neisseria gonorrhoeae colonies in the oropharynx is a viable solution to minimize the transmission of this bacterium amongst individuals. Objectives: A strategy involving the electrostatic interaction between a common antiseptic and a discontinued antibiotic (i.e. octenidine and carbenicillin) was evaluated as a potential treatment for gonorrhoea. Octenidine/carbenicillin is a novel group of uniform materials based on organic salts (GUMBOS) with inherent in vitro antibacterial activity that comes from its parent antiseptic and antibacterial ions, octenidine and carbenicillin, respectively. Methods: Antibacterial activities for octenidine dihydrochloride, disodium carbenicillin, octenidine/carbenicillin and stoichiometrically equivalent 1:1 octenidine dihydrochloride to disodium carbenicillin were assessed using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion assay for N. gonorrhoeae (ATCC 49226) and three clinical isolates. Predictive permeability using the Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeability Assay and cytotoxicity against HeLa cells was also evaluated. Results: Additive in vitro antibacterial activities against N. gonorrhoeae were observed in this study, which suggests octenidine/carbenicillin could be a useful agent in reducing N. gonorrhoeae transmission and minimizing gonorrhoea infections. Octenidine/carbenicillin also exhibited bioequivalence to azithromycin and doxycycline, two currently prescribed antibiotics. Likewise, octenidine/carbenicillin had improved predicted permeability compared with octenidine dihydrochloride. Conclusions: Antimicrobial GUMBOS synthesized in this study could be used as an adjunctive treatment approach to current drug therapies for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea infection control and prevention.

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Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

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