New gonorrhea 'super bug' resistant to antibiotic treatments
Jade Olivia Earle Special to the AmNews | 8/8/2011, 3:38 p.m.
Japanese scientists recently announced at a Canadian conference that a new strain of gonorrhea has been discovered that is resistant to all available antibiotics, referring to the strain as a "super bug."
The alarming disease has reportedly been able to beat cephalosporins, the latest series of antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea, and spread through the body anyway.
According to the 2009 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance Report, "gonorrhea rates remained highest among Blacks," with 556.4 cases per 100,000, making "the rate among Blacks 20.5 times higher than the rate among whites." There were a total of 301,174 cases reported that year.
Although the bug has reportedly not reached the United States, workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been warning doctors of the increasing difficulty of treating the sexually transmitted disease.
"Gonorrhea is a very complex bacteria-we have seen it evolve and become resistant to every antibiotic recommended for treatment over the years," stated Nikki Mayes, spokeswoman for the CDC in an email.
"We have not yet seen any treatment failures in the United States," Mayes said. "But given this decreased susceptibility we're seeing, coupled with the treatment failures documented in other parts of the world and the history of this organism's ability to mutate and become resistant, we suspect treatment failures are on the horizon for the U.S."
Pain while urinating and sexual organ discharge are some of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea. If the disease is left untreated, it may cause lifelong infertility.
A sexually active person is more likely to develop the infection if he or she has multiple sexual partners, has unprotected sex, has a drug addiction or is sleeping with a partner who has a history of any STDs, according to PubMed.