Pharmaceutical International News - June 2012
Global Gonorrhoea Drug Resistance Rising
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Pharmaceutical International's Lead Reporter on 07/06/2012 - 10:30:00
The world now only has one drug left in the fight against gonorrhoea, according to a statement released by the World Health Organization on 6 June 2012.
Even then, countless reports are emerging on this treatment's failing performance level, from countries as far apart as Australia, Norway and the UK.
According to WHO's Doctor Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, there's something like 106 million new annual gonorrhoea infections, globally, every single year and, now, more and more of those involved do not respond to cephalosporin antibiotics.
Gonorrhoea Drug Resistance
Consequently, WHO is urging for new treatment options to be researched in order to counter this rising gonorrhoea drug resistance.
"Gonorrhoea is becoming a major public health challenge, due to the high incidence of infections accompanied by dwindling treatment options", Lusti-Narasimhan explained.
"The available data only show the tip of the iceberg. Without adequate surveillance we won't know the extent of resistance to gonorrhoea and without research into new anti-microbial agents, there could soon be no effective treatment for patients."
Gonorrhoea is a sexually-transmitted condition especially rife in sub-Saharan Africa and large swathes of Asia. Data published by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that, just in the United States, around 700,000 new gonorrhoea cases emerge each year. Without the intervention of treatment, gonorrhoea can causes inflammation of the pelvis, infertility and, just in women, stillbirths and ectopic pregnancies.
Global Gonorrhoea Treatment Resistance
According to experts, it might be possible to overcome global gonorrhoea treatment resistance by providing patients with two types of treatment in a single dose, based on the success of this type of approach in dealing with other conditions.
"We are very concerned about recent reports of treatment failure from the last effective treatment option - the class of cephalosporin antibiotics - as there are no new therapeutic drugs in development," Lusti-Narasimhan added, in further comments. "If gonococcal infections become untreatable, the health implications are significant."
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