Gonorrhea develops resistance to existing drugs

The Agency for Health Protection (HPA, for its acronym in English) from United Kingdom has warned doctors that antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea now may no longer be effective due to sexually transmitted disease has developed strong resistance to these drugs.

According to this agency, it is possible that, in the treatment of gonorrhea, doctors are moving towards a point at which the disease becomes incurable, unless they find new ways to treat it.

For now, doctors have advised to stop using conventional treatment, based on cefixime, and instead employing two powerful antibiotics, one is a pill and the other is an injection. The HPA said the change is necessary due to increased resistance.

The tests performed on samples taken from patients and cultured in the laboratory have shown that reduced their susceptibility to cefixime antibiotic often used in about 20 percent of cases in 2010, compared with only 10 percent of cases that occurred in 2009.

In 2005, we could not find a gonorrhea bacteria with reduced susceptibility to cefixime in the UK. The bacterium that causes this infection, "Neisseria gonorrhoeae", has an unusual ability to adapt and acquire resistance or reduced susceptibility to a growing list of antibiotics, was first to penicillin, then tetracycline, ciprofloxacin and antimicrobial as now cefixime.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that first-line antibiotic should be changed when treatment failure in patients reach 5 percent. However, cefixime, the change has been brought forward due to the alarming increase in resistance that is occurring.

As pointed out by the BBC quoted by Europa Press Professor Cathy Ison, an expert in gonorrhea of ​​the HPA, "their laboratory tests have shown a dramatic reduction in sensitivity to the drug which is used as primary treatment for gonorrhea." "It's the first real warning that it might appear impossible to treat gonorrhea in the future," he says.

"We were so worried about the results we were seeing we recommend that guidelines for the treatment of gonorrhea is reviewed in May this year, to recommend a drug in them more effective," he says.

However, expert warns, "this does not solve the problem, because experience tells us that displayed resistance to this new therapy as well." "In the absence of any new alternative treatment for when this happens, we face a situation that gonorrhea can be cured," he concludes.