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Rise of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea needs urgent action, experts urge

Date:
September 19, 2011
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Gonorrhea is evolving into a scourge resistant to most antibiotics, and urgent action is needed to combat this public health threat, say experts.

Gonorrhea is evolving into a scourge resistant to most antibiotics, and urgent action is needed to combat this public health threat, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that causes pelvic inflammatory disease and urethritis, is evolving into multiresistant bacteria because most treatments are now ineffective. Japan reported the first example of multiresistant gonorrhea. Neisseria gonorrhea, the organism responsible, can mutate rapidly and has a complex biology that has foiled attempts to develop a vaccine. It can also promote antibiotic resistance in other microbes through gene transfer.

Targeted approaches aimed at high-risk groups, such as sexually active young people, can help stop the spread of gonorrhea. Creative and humorous public education campaigns, such as Alberta's www.plentyofsyph.com campaign against STDs, which resulted in a 15% to 20% increase in testing in its first month, are a start. Access to testing and care must be made easier, and emphasis on safe sex and condom use is crucial.

"The spectre of widespread multiresistant gonorrhea demands an urgent public health, community and individual response," conclude the authors. "Without action, we are heading back to the pre-antibiotic era, with an escalation in the number of deaths from other multiresistant organisms as well as rampant gonococcal infections -- with treatment options for urethritis limited to painkillers, baths and catheterization for strictures."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Noni E. MacDonald, Matthew B. Stanbrook, Ken Flegel, Paul C. Hébert, Daniel Rosenfield. Gonorrhea: what goes around comes around. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.111393

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Rise of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea needs urgent action, experts urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919121806.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2011, September 19). Rise of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea needs urgent action, experts urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919121806.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Rise of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea needs urgent action, experts urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919121806.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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