Tags: gonorrhea | untreatable | drug | resistant

WHO: Gonorrhea Becoming Untreatable

Wednesday, 05 Sep 2012 12:53 PM


Public health experts are warning that gonorrhea is just one antibiotic away from becoming an untreatable, drug-resistant disease.
The bacteria that cause this common, serious sexually transmitted disease have become resistant to all but one antibiotic – ceftriaxone (brand name Suprax) – according to a new bulletin from the World Health Organization.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this month recommended new guidelines for using the drug to treat the infection to preserve its effectiveness. The drug should no longer be taken orally, but by injection only – along with one of two other oral antibiotics, either azithromycin or doxycycline – according to the new CDC guidelines.
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The change was prompted by new laboratory tests showing that cefixime is becoming less effective in treating gonorrhea, the WHO said.
“In the past, gonorrhea has developed resistance to every antibiotic recommended for its treatment, leaving the cephalosporins, which include cefixime and ceftriaxone, as the final recommended class of drugs,” according to the WHO bulletin. “In light of this history and the recent laboratory data, researchers are concerned that continued use of cefixime may prompt gonorrhea to develop resistance to all cephalosporins. Limiting the use of cefixime now may help preserve ceftriaxone as a treatment option for a little longer.”
CDC researcher Dr. Gail A. Bolan and colleagues have been raising concerns on resistant gonorrhea for months.
"It is time to sound the alarm," Bolan and colleagues wrote earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine. Resistance to antibiotics, they warn, is "threatening our ability to cure gonorrhea."
Gonorrhea, sometimes called the clap, causes more than 600,000 new infections a year in the U.S., according to the CDC.
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Public health experts warn gonorrhea is one antibiotic away from becoming an untreatable, drug-resistant disease.
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Wednesday, 05 Sep 2012 12:53 PM
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