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New drug resistant Gonorrhea worries the experts

Update Date: Jan 13, 2013 10:51 AM EST

The recent discovery of an antibiotic resistant strain of gonorrhea has the medical fraternity worried about its effective course of treatment.

Until recently Cefixime which, incidentally, is the solitary cephalosporin antimicrobial administered orally, was the common antibiotic prescribed for the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. In a recent research conducted on a group of patient in Toronto, the researchers have found the failure rate of Cefixime to be an around seven percent.

This strand was identified in many North American patients as per the article published in the Journal of American Medical Association.

Since its first discovery the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae responsible for gonorrhea, has been steadily known to have outgrown the treatment administered to eradicate it. Be it Sulphonamides around 1940, penicillin and tetracycline which lost its fatality to the disease between 1970 and 1980, or the fluoroquinolones which was discontinued since 2007. Cefixime seems to be the latest in the list of treatments soon to be outdated.

In the new study led by Vanessa G. Allen, M.D., M.P.H., Of Public Health Ontario, a follow up was done on 133 patients who were asked to come after 2 to 4 weeks. Out of them 9 patients gonorrhea had not been cured. That is a failure of approximately 6.77 percent.

Gonorrhea is a disease that has affected human beings indiscriminately for centuries. If untreated, it can lead to several complications of which ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women are the major one.

A combined administration of ceftriaxone via injection and azithromycin orally was suggested by the Health Protection Agency in U.K. In October 2011 this was the same agency which warned about the drug resistant strain of gonorrhea.

Keeping in mind the drug resistance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised the doctors worldwide against prescribing a single antibiotic for the treatment of gonorrhea. This is also at par with the regulation of WHO which says that if the failure rate of a treatment increases to more than 5 percent, then the primary antibiotic used has to be changed.

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