The Centers for Disease Control recently reported the increase in a strain of gonorrhea that is resistent to the current treatment with cephalosporin antibiotics. As long as bacteria continue to infect us humans, they will continue to thwart our efforts at killing them off. Back in the day, we used sulfa drugs and when that stopped working we used good ole penicillin. The study analyzed the susceptibility to cephalosporins from 2000 to 2006 using 6000 samples. Even though the number of resistent samples was small it was the increase in resistant samples that became alarming.
To date there has not been a case of gonorrhea that has not been cured with current antibiotic regimens. Increasing resistance will always be a concern but there is a big difference between unable to treat and more challenging to treat. Sometimes “resistance” just means that a higher dose is needed to affect a cure. Much of the media treats the story as though a superbug is about the sweep the nation like a plague of locusts. No the sky is not falling and yes we all need to be more careful. It’s a warning to those most at risk of contracting the disease in the first place (multiple sexual partners, unprotected sex, sex with someone who has multiple partners) as well as a warning to physicians to be aware that the usual treatment won’t always work. So be warned….and be careful.