Maybe gonorrhea will soon be untreatable
Many experts around the world are concerned that antibiotics will soon no longer be able to cure gonorrhea infections. Researchers have now found that we probably have much less time than expected before the gonorrhea pathogens are completely resistant to antibiotics.
Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hawaii Department of Health found in an investigation that there are cases of gonorrhea that show very high resistance to antibiotics. This could soon lead to complete resistance to antibiotics. The doctors released a press release with the results of their investigation.
Pathogens develop ever stronger resistance to antibiotics
Gonorrhea may soon no longer be cured with antibiotics. The so-called Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria develop a strong resistance to the drug azithromycin, as well as a reduced sensitivity to ceftriaxone, the experts warn.
Resistant germs are on the rise
The two drugs are currently used in combination. Experts hope to stop or at least slow the advance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Since 2005 there have been four documented individual cases in which Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria had a reduced susceptibility to both drugs, the scientists explain. But now for the first time a group of such cases has occurred in the United States. In addition, a multi-resistant super-germ was already detected in the USA in July.
About 800,000 Americans could become infected each year
"Our last line of defense against gonorrhea is getting weaker," explains Dr. Jonathan Mermin from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the resistances continue to increase and spread, the current treatment method will eventually fail and no longer have any effect. 800,000 Americans could then become infected with incurable gonorrhea each year, the doctor adds.
The current cases of gonorrhea in the United States have been cured
The current cases of gonorrhea in Hawaii (six men and one woman) have all been cured, but it simply seems to be a matter of time before the first treatment failure occurs, the experts explain. Some time ago, doctors from Great Britain reported that a man there was infected with a gonorrhea that could not be cured by the first treatment with antibiotics. However, the treatment was successfully managed three months later, the authors add.
Doctors are looking for new effective forms of antibiotics
When the combination of the two drugs stops working, there is no other effective treatment option, the researchers say. There are several experimental antibiotics in development, but it will likely be a few years before these drugs come onto the market. Doctors have been looking for new, effective forms of antibiotics for a long time. Only recently has a previously unknown body's own antibiotic been identified. This new antibiotic substance was discovered in the nose. (as)