Doctors warn gonorrhea becoming ‘untreatable’ due to antibiotic resistance

February 10, 2012NORTH CAROLINAIn this morning’s NEJM, physicians from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Washington bluntly warn that gonorrhea at least threatens to become untreatable, thanks to the acquisition of antibiotic resistance: It is time to sound the alarm. During the past 3 years, the wily gonococcus has become less susceptible to our last line of antimicrobial defense, threatening our ability to cure gonorrhea and prevent severe sequelae. As I reported here last July, gonorrhea (which acquires resistance mutations much more easily than syphilis does) has been steadily becoming indifferent to entire classes of antibiotics used against it: first sulfa drugs, then penicillin, then tetracycline, then fluoroquinolones such as Cipro. The last class of drugs that worked against the disease easily, quickly and cheaply –  key attributes, if you’re running publicly funded clinics where people may not give you their real names — were the class called cephalosporins. But for the past several years, decreased susceptibility to cephalosporins has been moving across the globe, appearing first in Japan, and then spreading both west across Europe and east via Hawaii to the United States. One case of true resistance has been identified in Japan. But here is the key point: Gonorrhea, which causes about 700,000 cases a year in the United States, is steadily ratcheting up the doses of drug necessary to cure it, while at the same time there are no new drugs in the pipeline to treat it. For decades — since the magic bullets of antibiotics made it possible for STDs to become a public health priority — STD detection and treatment has followed a single well-worn pattern. Highly resistant STDs could change that, if they become widely distributed across the planet. –Wired
contribution by Mukesh K.
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3 Responses to Doctors warn gonorrhea becoming ‘untreatable’ due to antibiotic resistance

    In the US, hundreds of passengers on three separate cruise ships have fallen ill after coming into contact with a norovirusm, Press TV reports.
    The first ship to witness an outbreak was the Ruby Princess, which docked in Fort Lauderdale Florida as did the Crown Princess a few days later.
    The third ship, the Voyager of the Sea docked in New Orleans Louisiana.
    Noroviruses, highly contagious stomach and intestinal bugs, are transferred from person to person through food or water. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and cramps usually follow.
    Although the worldwide cruise industry has come under growing scrutiny, travel experts say millions of customers will take the risk of traveling again.
    “These things are always getting a lot of media attention. So, it does not represent the reality of what is going on with safety in the cruise industry, because the cruise industry has been very safe,” said travel reporter Valerie D’Elia.
    Over the last two years, there have been some 28 norovirus out breaks that have left more than 4,000 people ill.
    Since the recent Costa Concordia cruise liner disaster in Italy which claimed the lives of tens of people, the worldwide cruise industry has been put to question by critics.


  2. Susan says:

    Alvin- I did not know where to put this-but this is a really strange bacteria story that breads unexplained explosive bacteria. Mans need to produce faster and bigger does not mean better with these large animal farms. God only knows whats breading at chicken and cow farms that go unchecked for strange bacteria to growth. Makes you wonder where this bacteria is spreading…


  3. K says:

    I took a Human Sexuality class about two years ago and my Professor was saying the same thing.


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