• Javonte Maynor

Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea is a Public Health Concern

Gonorrhea at one time was an easily treated sexually transmitted disease that involved a patient taking an antibiotic, abstaining from sex for a period of 7 days, and possibly following up with their physician to confirm they was cured. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that gonorrhea has developed a resistance to all available antibiotics accept one, which is cephalosporins. This mean that the bacteria has the opportunity to continue multiplying leading to serious health conditions such as infertility in woman and spreading into the blood causing disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). History show that gonorrhea is very skilled at outsmarting the antibiotics used to kill it.

Sulfonamides, discovered in 1935, was the the first antibiotic created to treat gonorrhea. When a resistance to sulfonamides occurred in the early 1940s, doctors started to use the "wonder drug" penicillin to cure over 90% of reported cases. Shortly after using penicillin, the bacteria became resistant once again to available antibiotics. It is well known that gonorrhea has the ability to become antibiotic resistant within a few years and the CDC is encouraging research and development of new drugs for gonorrhea treatment. However, this will not be an easy process for researchers. Gonorrhea has the capacity to acquire resistant genes and mutations that help it fight against antibiotics. What turn it into a super bug is that while other types of bacteria will shed resistant genes once antibiotic selection pressure is removed, gonorrhea will collect and hold onto those resistant mechanisms preventing the use of previous antibiotics used to treat the infection.

To learn about the basic information in regards to antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

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