Scientists Discover Antibiotics-Resistant Gonorrhea Superbug

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An electron micrograph of the bacteria that causes gonorrhea.

Kate Kelland of Reuters reports, July 11, 2011, that scientists have found a “superbug” strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is extremely resistant to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics — the last remaining drugs still effective in treating gonorrhea.

A “superbug” is a bacteria that has mutated and become resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics.

The World Health Organization estimates there are at least 340 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections — including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis — every year among people aged 15 to 49.

But the new strain of the sexually transmitted gonorrhea — called H041 — cannot be killed by any currently recommended treatments for gonorrhea, leaving doctors with no other option than to try medicines so far untested against the disease.

Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, who discovered the strain with colleagues from Japan in samples from Kyoto, described it as both “alarming” and “predictable.” He said, “Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it. Japan has historically been the place for the first emergence and subsequent global spread of different types of resistance in gonorrhea.”

Gonorrhea is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection and if left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.

It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world and is most prevalent in south and southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases is estimated at around 700,000 a year.

Experts say the best way to reduce the risk of even greater resistance developing — beyond the urgent need to develop effective new drugs — is to treat gonorrhea with combinations of two or more types of antibiotic at the same time. This technique is used in the treatment of some other diseases like tuberculosis in an attempt to make it more difficult for the bacteria to learn how to conquer the drugs.

Unemo said however that experience from previous degrees of resistance acquired by gonorrhea suggested this new multi-drug resistant strain could spread around the world within decades. “Based on the historical data … resistance has emerged and spread internationally within 10 to 20 years,” he said, which means this new “superbug” gonorrhea can transform a once easily treatable infection into a global public health threat.

H/t beloved fellow Anon.

Here’s some data I found on gonorrhea from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

What is gonorrhea?: Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease and the second most commonly reported notifiable disease in the United States. Infections due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae, like those resulting from C. trachomatis, are a major cause of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) in the United States. PID can lead to serious outcomes in women, such as tubal infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. In addition, epidemiologic and biologic studies provide strong evidence that gonococcal infections facilitate the transmission of HIV infection.

Incidence: In 2009, a total of 301,174 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the United States, a rate of 99.1 cases per 100,000 population.

  • By region: In 2009, as in previous years, the South had the highest gonorrhea rate (133.2 cases per 100,000 population) among the four regions of the country, and rates in the South and Midwest remained higher than rates in the Northeast and West.
  • By gender: Before 1996, gonorrhea rates among men were higher than rates among women. Since that time, rates have been similar among women and men, but during the past 3 years, an increasing trend shows slightly higher rates among women (Figure 15). In 2009, the gonorrhea rate was 105.5 cases per 100,000 population among women and 91.9 among men.
  • By age: In 2009, gonorrhea rates continued to be highest among adolescents and young adults. In 2009, women aged 15–19 and 20–24 years had the highest rates of gonorrhea (568.8 and 555.3, respectively). Among men, the rate was highest among those aged 20–24 years (407.5).
  • By race: In 2009, gonorrhea rates remained highest among blacks (556.4 cases per 100,000 population) (Figure 22, Table 21B). Similar to recent years, the rate among blacks was 20.5 times higher than the rate among whites (27.2). Gonorrhea rates were 4.2 times higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives (113.3) and 2.2 times higher among Hispanics (58.6) than among whites in 2009. Rates among whites were 1.5 times higher than those among Asians/Pacific Islanders (18.1) in 2009.
  • Increasing among gay men: Due to an increase in unsafe sex, male rectal gonorrhea incidence increased from 1994 through 1997, from 21 to 38 per 100,000 adult men (Figure_1). This increase in incidence was observed in all racial/ethnic and age groups but was highest among men aged 25-34 years (from 41 to 83 cases per 100,000 men aged 25-34 years, pless than 0.01).

~Eowyn

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12 responses to “Scientists Discover Antibiotics-Resistant Gonorrhea Superbug

  1. In researching my recent book, “The History and Evolution of Health Care in America: The Untold Backstory of Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Why Health Care Needs More Reform,” I came to conclusion that one of the many issues we have in our current health care system are the myths we carry about the current system, which is in reality not a system at all. One of the main myths is our perception of the concept of our “cures.

    Most people believe that we have cures for most disease. They believe these cures are immutable once discovered and eradicate the effect of disease for all time. Many still believe that Penicillin is a wonder drug that is as effective today as it was when it was invented in 1928. The truth is, that we are in a constant war – a war with our environment (causing accidents, and injury), a war with other species (bacteria, viruses, other micro-organisms), and a war with ourselves (our own behaviors).

    In the battle with the other species, they do not sit quietly and wait to become eradicated and made extinct. They evolve, they adapt, and they have continued to find effective ways to defeat out continued chemical attack. It is no anomaly that we are seeing a rise in super resistant strains of bacteria. We are often only a single mutation away for viruses to change infection methods and patterns. Can you imagine if the AIDS virus, one of the more adaptable viruses, was to change the mechanics of it method of infection to direct fluid contact to aerosol or airborne infection?

    Pharma is running out of magic bullets, as they have picked most, if not all, of the low hanging fruit. It is no coincidence that the new drugs we hear about on TV seem to have an ever increasing list of harmful side effects. Soon in order to get a prescription for treatment, the pharmacist will need to know our genotype and phenotype (individual body chemistry) in order to provide the variant of the drug that won’t harm or kill us, vs. the other one that will.

    This is a great article, but this message needs to be amplified. This factor like many others is one of the reasons we are continuing to see rising health care costs. While it is convenient and self-gratifying to vilify drug companies, insurers and others for making profits on the backs of patients as the cause of the rising cost of care, the reality of is quite a bit different.
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  2. They just found this? How about…they made it.
    I don’t trust scientists any more than I do the gubmint.

    I keep remembering that Bill Gates, and his globalist cohorts want to destroy up to 80 per cent of the global population…what better way than a virus, which Prince Phillip has remarked that he’d like to return as.

    We live in a very evil place.

     
  3. There also might be fewer problems if patients would realize that they do not always need an antbiotic! Many refuse to believe that antiobiotics do NOT work on viruses!!

     
  4. There you go ladies, your “right to choose” and the consequence you face if you don’t choose wisely.

     
  5. they created HIV and now a non treatable GONORRHEA ,i guess they will be spared by there own devilish doing.

     
  6. and apparently it is a racist bacteria (using the current standard of if a lot of black are in prisons in must be because of racism if blacks can’t pass an exam its racist if not enough blacks are represented in a job field it must be racist etc)

     

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