Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea has featured high on the international agenda in recent weeks, highlighting the effect of the diminishing pool of effective antibiotic treatments and the urgent need for new agents.
In July the US Centre for Disease Control has warned that the emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea in the United States would make gonorrhea much more difficult to treat, highlighting the acute shortfall in antibiotic treatment options for a disease that has 700,000 new cases in the US each year and an estimated 340 million new cases each year worldwide. The CDC said.”It is critical to continuously monitor antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens. The potential emergence of gonococcal cephalosporin resistance is of particular concern because the U.S. gonorrhea control strategy relies upon effective antibiotic therapy, no other well-studied and effective antibiotic treatment options or combinations currently are available [once the bacteria are resistant to cephalosporins].“” Click for source information.
August saw reports on the emergence of a new strain of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea in Japan – HO41 – that is reportedly resistant to all antibiotic treatments. . In commenting on the reported findings researcher Magnus Unemo said in his statement “While it is still too early to assess if this new strain has become widespread, the history of newly emergent resistance in the bacterium suggests that it may spread rapidly unless new drugs and effective treatment programs are developed.” Click to read more on this story.
Both reports should ring alarm bells to government, regulators and industry alike. The thin end of a wedge, without research and development of new agents it could be the reported beginning of the end of the magic bullets that antibiotics were deseveredly named. Urgent action is needed to develop and bring agents to market that will stem the almost inevitable rise in untreatable infections.