Antibiotic resistant Gonorrhea has now been found in North America. In Europe, it accounts for 1 in 10 STD infections.
American doctors are down to one antibiotic that can be officially prescribed for Gonorrhea—an injection known as ceftriaxone—but it may not last long, as Gonorrhea continues to develop antibiotic resistance.
It’s already estimated that there are double the cases of Gonorrhea than what is actually reported, since the disease can often be symptomless. Antibiotic resistance could help Gonorrhea to spread further, as those unaware they have it pass the more virulent strain along.
One of the problems with treating Gonorrhea is that many people do not return for follow-up care after receiving their antibiotics—that means that even those who got tested and treated may have the disease, if they do not confirm that the antibiotics were able to defeat it. Again, since Gonorrhea is often symptomless, this could aid in it’s spread as those who think they’ve treated it may unknowingly have an incurable strain.
Researchers are working to develop new antibiotics for Gonorrhea, as well as new treatment combinations, but new antibiotics 1) take a lot of research for not much anticipated profit, 2) tend to be stronger and have correspondingly horrific side-effects. Perhaps one of the new virus based antibiotics will succeed and change things.
Drug resistance is a huge problem worldwide. Although many people have heard of MRSA and antibiotic resistant pneumonia, bigger concerns include the return of tuberculosis, an outbreak of which recently affected Florida (TB can mutate quickly, and is notoriously hard to treat even when antibiotics could work).
What do you think of antibiotic resistant STDs?