Antibiotic Resistance Defies STD Guidance; the Sexually Transmitted Disease Gonorrhea Continues to Develop Strong Resistance to Antibiotics to the Point Where the World Health Organization Released Treatment Guidelines Tuesday Calling for Different Medication. [Derived Headline]

By Schmitt, Ben | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 31, 2016 | Go to article overview

Antibiotic Resistance Defies STD Guidance; the Sexually Transmitted Disease Gonorrhea Continues to Develop Strong Resistance to Antibiotics to the Point Where the World Health Organization Released Treatment Guidelines Tuesday Calling for Different Medication. [Derived Headline]


Schmitt, Ben, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea continues to develop strong resistance to antibiotics to the point where the World Health Organization released treatment guidelines Tuesday calling for different medication.

Because of widespread resistance, older and cheaper antibiotics are no longer effective in treating the infection, the WHO said in a statement.

Gonorrhea infects an estimated 78 million people every year. Although many suffer no symptoms, the bacterium can cause pain in the genitals, rectum and throat, and can lead to infertility and infections of the brain or the heart if untreated.

"The growing threat of antimicrobial resistance encompasses all infectious diseases, and one area in which it is especially important is the realm of sexually transmitted infections," Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist and senior associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security, told the Tribune-Review. "The specter of totally drug-resistant gonorrhea is among the most frightening scenarios identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

The WHO guidelines, dating to 2003, recommended treating gonorrhea infections with antibiotics known as quinolones, such as ciprofloxacin. But resistant strains of the bacterium have spread across the globe, says Teodora Wi, a WHO medical officer. She called gonorrhea a "very smart bug" that repeatedly adapts to new antibiotics.

Dr. Harold Wiesenfeld, medical director of the STD program at the Allegheny County Health Department, agreed that gonorrhea is adept at fending off antibiotic treatments.

He said WHO guidelines piggyback on previous CDC recommendations that doctors treat the infection with a combination of antibiotics known as ceftriaxone and azithromycin. …

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Antibiotic Resistance Defies STD Guidance; the Sexually Transmitted Disease Gonorrhea Continues to Develop Strong Resistance to Antibiotics to the Point Where the World Health Organization Released Treatment Guidelines Tuesday Calling for Different Medication. [Derived Headline]
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