Monday, July 11, 2011

Super Gonorrhea could lead to 'global health threat'

This is quite alarming.  Via Reuters:
Scientists have found a "superbug" strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to all recommended antibiotics and say it could transform a once easily treatable infection into a global public health threat.

The new strain of the sexually transmitted disease -- called H041 -- cannot be killed by any currently recommended treatments for gonorrhea, leaving doctors with no other option than to try medicines so far untested against the disease.

Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, who discovered the strain with colleagues from Japan in samples from Kyoto, described it as both "alarming" and "predictable."

"Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it," he said.

The team's analysis of the strain found it was extremely resistant to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics -- the last remaining drugs still effective in treating gonorrhea.

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