Is Sexually Transmitted Gonorrhea Becoming a ‘Superbug?’
The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea isِ increasingly developing resistance toِ allِ of theِ antibiotics weِ haveِ to treat itِ inِ the United States, researchers warn.
In 2009, nearlyِ a quarter ofِ strains tested inِ a nationwide surveillance project ofِ gonorrhea wereِ resistant toِ penicillin, tetracycline, fluoroquinolones, orِ a combination ofِ these antibiotics thatِ areِ typically usedِ toِ treat theِ STD.
Kimberly Workowski, ofِ the Centers forِ Disease Control andِ Prevention Division ofِ STD Prevention, saidِ ofِ the early 2010 data.
Emerging antibiotic resistance
Gonorrhea isِ caused byِ the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea andِ is spread throughِ sexual activity.
Individuals withِ gonorrhea oftenِ show noِ symptoms, butِ the disease canِ lead toِ seriousِ complications, including infertility andِ chronic pelvic pain inِ women, andِ in men epididymitis, a painful condition ofِ the ducts attached toِ theِ testicles thatِ mayِ causeِ infertility ifِ left untreated, according toِ theِ CDC.
In 1991, resistance toِ fluoroquinolone started toِ emerge.
How to prevent resistance
To prevent theِ emergence ofِ cephalosporin resistance, theِ CDC isِ now recommending theِ disease beِ treated withِ anِ injectable form ofِ cephalosporin asِ well asِ anotherِ type ofِ antibiotic, suchِ asِ azithromycin orِ doxycycline.
The CDC, inِ collaboration withِ theِ National Institutes ofِ Health, isِ alsoِ working toِ identify otherِ drugs thatِ mightِ beِ used toِ treat gonorrhea cost-effectively, including drugs thatِ target theِ bacteria inِ differentِ stages ofِ the life cycle, Workowski said.
The organization isِ alsoِ working toِ develop a response plan inِ case ofِ anِ outbreak, Workowski said..