Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea Is A Looming Threat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that Neisseria gonorrhoeae ― that is, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea ― could be developing resistance to our last-line antibiotics that treat it. The CDC’s current gold standard treatment for gonorrhea is a combination of two drugs, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, to ensure that if one drug doesn’t kill the bacteria, the other will finish the job. Now, a rise in antibiotic resistance among these two bacteria since 2014 has experts worried. “History has taught us that this bacteria has the ability to develop resistance to antibiotics, and sometimes it can do it quite quickly,” Dr. Robert Kirkcaldy, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s STD prevention division told The Huffington Post. “Our ability to cure people of gonorrhea is going to fade unless we take steps now address growing antibiotic resistance.” That said, the United States has not encountered any cases of gonorrhea that are untreatable so far, and despite rising antibiotic resistance, overall resistance rates for the combination treatments are relatively low: just 2.5 percent for azithromycin and 0.8 percent for ceftriaxone. As it stands, gonorrhea is the second-most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with more than 350,000 reported cases of the infection in 2014. And while gonorrhea has traditionally has been easy to cure, if left untreated, it can cause severe rep...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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