New gonorrhoea strain resistant to all available antibiotics

Yahoo Lifestyle
United Kingdom & Ireland

Could lead to global health emergency

© Irina Chirkova РFotolia.com
July 11, 2010

An international team of scientists has discovered a new strain of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea that is resistant to all currently available antibiotics.

Gonorrhoea is currently a widespread but easily treatable condition. It is estimated to be one of the most common STIs in the world, with around 700,000 cases annually in the US alone.

Scientists successfully identified a previously unknown variant of the bacterium that causes gonorrhoea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This new strain, called H041, was found to have extreme resistance to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics, the last remaining drugs still effective in treating gonorrhoea.

Commenting on the findings, study leader Dr Makoto Ohnishi said: “This is both an alarming and a predictable discovery – since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhoea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it.”

He warned that new treatments need to be developed to meet the threat posed by the new bug.

“The history of newly emergent resistance in the bacterium suggests that it may spread rapidly unless new drugs and effective treatment programs are developed,” Dr Ohnishi said.

If left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to serious and irreversible health complications in both women and men.

 

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.