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The Birth of Super Gonorrhea

March 25th, 2012 by

gonorrhea

In Japan, a sex worker was discovered to have a new “super” strain of gonorrhea. This form of gonorrhea can not be treated. A team of Japanese and Swedish scientists wrote, in the July 2011 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, that this new form may represent “a true superbug that initiates a future era of untreatable gonorrhea”.

Gonorrhea, a.k.a.“the clap”, can lead to fertility problems and pelvic inflammatory disease for women and urethral scarring, urination problems, and kidney failure in men. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies aren’t exactly eager to lend a helping hand. Antibiotics are expensive to research and yield low profit margins. Currently there are no new antibiotics on the horizon which is what makes this current evolved form frighteningly unique.

Medical professionals have long been aware of this bacterium’s mutative capabilities. The current drug on the market, cephalosporin, is the fourth antibiotic to be used against gonorrhea. Dr. Stuart Levy, of the Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics, states that we may have accelerated gonorrhea’s evolution.

He may be right. “Regular” gonorrhea (not “super”)  is the second most infectious disease in the U.S. with 700k new cases a year. The great demand for treatment gives this STD an opportunity to adapt. Or just look at the time of the Vietnam War where penicillin, the first antibiotic to combat gonorrhea, was used too freely within brothels.

The good news, if it can be referred to as such, is that today’s super strain has not yet been detected in America. This information should be taken with a grain of salt though. Historically, the mutated forms of gonorrhea would first be recorded in Asia and then appear later in the U.S. The present situation mirrors that pattern; recent data shows an increase in U.S. gonorrhea cases with, not an immunity, but an increased resistance to the current drug, cephalosporin.

America’s response to this danger? Dr. Kirkcaldy of the Centers for Disease Control states,  “It’s incumbent on researchers in the pharmaceutical and other sectors to step up quickly and boldly to identify new drug combinations”.

Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it…

…The response to a bacteria which continually outmaneuvers the latest medicines, the master plan of defense against this worldwide threat:more drugs. More antibiotics from the same industry which exhibits lackluster zeal due to sub-par profit margins from these drugs. Years later, what’s to stop gonorrhea from evolving again? Would it be unfair to ask for dialogue concerning personal responsibility, or the potential of re-examining society’s carefree, flawed attitude about sex?

No, I am not implying that all people who contract STD’s are immoral, or that drugs should be removed from the conversation. However, I will state that dialogue regarding behavior and responsibility transcend moral, political, or religious connotations– especially when those discussions concern worldwide health.

Gonorrhea evolves. Perhaps it’s time that our dialogue does the same?

Sources

  1. ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/super-gonorrhea-scientists-discover-antibiotic-resistant-std/story?id=14027745#.T2TUwsWPVGQ
  2. Boston Globe: http://articles.boston.com/2011-07-24/bostonglobe/29810382_1_gonorrhea-antibiotic-development-infections
  3. CDC: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/313-17/9998-cdc-warns-untreatable-gonorrhea-is-on-the-way
  4. NY Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/worries-about-a-gonorrhea-superbug/
  5. PJ Online: http://www.pjonline.com/forum/new_super_gonorrhea_immune_to_antibiotics

Author: Olivier

Olivier writes many of the site's articles, some articles requiring many hours of research; he also helps with site strategy/focus. He has a Bachelors in Accounting, Masters in Theology, and is currently an accounting manager for a teleconferencing solutions company. In his spare time he enjoys reading, writing, NFL, and movies.

10 Responses to “The Birth of Super Gonorrhea”

  1. Sally says:

    Wow! Favorite part: “No, I am not implying that all people who contract STD’s are immoral, or that drugs should be removed from the conversation. However, I will state that dialogue regarding behavior and responsibility transcend moral, political, or religious connotations– especially when those discussions concern worldwide health.

    Gonorrhea evolves. Perhaps it’s time that our dialogue does the same?”

    Olivier, you definitlly have a knack for writing!!

  2. Olivier says:

    Thnx for providing feedback and compliment, sally! The dialogue does need to evolve, sometimes true leadership involves taking the unpopular stance

  3. Sophie says:

    I love how no scientist is saying, “Maybe casual sex is a bad idea after all and you shouldn’t participate in it.” HELLO?!!!! Abstinence is the absolute BEST way to ensure you’re STD-free! I’m not saying everyone should WTM, but at least wait until a committed relationship! I’m sorry, but I don’t have much sympathy for anyone who sleeps around and catches something. Further proof that humans were not meant to engage on hook-ups.

  4. Olivier says:

    Hahahaha! Sophie I love how u tossed political correctness to the side. Well done!

  5. Claire says:

    Wow, that is a terrifying prospect. Great job, Olivier! Of course no one wants to suggest that casual sex could be a poor life choice… sex is the highest-selling media facet. I wonder if that Japanese sex worker is still out there, working…

  6. Olivier says:

    Claire, as soon as I read your comment I literally laughed out loud! Lol…”working”

  7. Jay says:

    Super gonorrhea…sounds like a damn DBZ character.

  8. Sean says:

    Ummm, this information is 50 years out of date. It’s 2015 (well, 2012 for the article) and only ~now~ a super gonorrhea has surfaced in the Japanese red district?

    Try some military history: During the Vietnam Conflict(war), service men were visiting the local working girls and getting the STD known as gonorrhea. Most were fine as long as they kept up with their penicillin injections. However, whether because they were long out in the field and wanted their ‘R&R’ right away or those on base ‘forgot’ to get their scheduled injections, eventually certain strains of gonorrhea developed an immunity to penicillin, which began to circulate among the working girls and the GI’s who visited them.

    By the way, this was around the mid-late 60’s. I find it difficult to believe it is only now cropping up beyond Vietnam’s borders.

  9. James says:

    Sean, I would advise you to read the entire article check the “sources” links… they’re there for a reason.

    Yes, Gonorrhea has been evolving for some time now but the point is that it has NOW reached a point where we have no new drugs in the pipeline (at the time this article was written). A quick Google search shows several people reported on this during the time this article was written. I saw something as recent as last year.

  10. Vick Macky says:

    Can someone please help? I have been emailing and leaving messages and nobody is responding. people are not getting the confirmation emails! take a look at when the last new member signed up.

    I would love to join this site but it looks like you’re experiencing some major tech issues.

    Someone please email me back at vick.macky@mail.com

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