New Strain of Antiobiotic Resistant Gonorrhea

Posted on July 13, 2011


Scientists in Japan have recently discovered an antibiotic resistant strain of gonorrhea.  Commonly known as “the clap,” this new strain (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) is resistant to cephalosporin—the antibiotic responsible for treating gonorrhea.

Lead researcher Magnus Unemo announced this discovery at the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research meeting.  In a statement, Unemo warned that unless developments in new drugs and treatment programs are instituted, the strain may spread rapidly.

The potential for this once treatable sexually transmitted infection (STI) to become a global public health epidemic is alarming.  Unlike antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA and VRE that generally spread in hospitals and facilities of the like, Neisseria gonorrhoeae can spread anywhere.  Although discovered in Japan, Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University reminded the community that bacteria “don’t need a passport.”

In a July 8 report, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advised doctors to report any case of this resistant strain immediately.

With 700,000 cases reported in the United States every year, gonorrhea is one of the most common STIs that spreads through direct contact with the vagina, penis, mouth, anus, or through child birth (similar to Chlamydia).  Generally, the infection is asymptomatic—however, discharge or a burning sensation while urinating are the most noted symptoms.

With this, it is important for Boston residents to protect themselves from possibly contracting this strain.  The following are some facts about STIs:

-Chlamydia is the most common STI spread in the United States

-Sex with multiple partners increases your risk of contracting an STI

-You CAN NOT contract an STI through hugging, kissing, (and other forms of non-sexual contact), or toilet seats

-It is important to be tested regularly for STIs since testing is the only way for an accurate diagnosis

-If you have been treated for an STI, it is best NOT to have sex at least one week after treatment is over

-The longer an STI is left untreated, the higher the risk of contracting other STIs

Although abstinence is the only 100% way to prevent contracting an STI, using condoms (either latex or polyurethane only) can work to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

For more health tips, please call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.

To find out more about Neisseria gonorrhoeae, please visit:

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