New drugs needed against hard-to-treat gonorrhoea: UN

Antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhea harder and sometimes even impossible to treat, according to a new warning from the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, a new drug may be urgently needed to treat the disease.

About Gonorrhea:

  • Gonorrhea, also called “the clap“, is a disease caused by bacteria. Untreated, it can cause painful pelvic inflammation in women, and infertility in both genders.

  • In extreme cases, the bacteria can spread in the blood to cause life-threatening infections in other parts of the body.

  • Symptoms of infection include painful urination and abnormal discharge, but many will experience no symptoms at all.

The concern:

Gonorrhea resistance to penicillin and tetracycline, a common broad-spectrum antibiotic, first emerged in the 1970s in Asia, spreading to the rest of the world during the early 1980s, according to the WHO.

  • Resistance to the next level antibiotic, ciprofloxacin, developed in the mid-2000s.

  • A third generation of drugs called cephalosporins — orally-administered cefixime and injectable ceftriaxone — then came into use.

  • But resistance to cefixime — and more rarely to ceftriaxone — has now been reported in more than 50 countries.

  • These are so-called multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains.


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