I’ve been talking about this for a while now, but it’s now being seriously discussed in the mainstream media.
On the growing roster of antibiotic-resistant diseases, gonorrhea is the one that has most recently captured the attention of public health officials. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last week that 1.7% of certain types of gonorrhea infections show little response to treatment, even with cephalosporins, the last line of antibiotic defense.
At this point, no matter what happens with cephalosporins, resistant gonorrhea is on its way to winning out over available antibiotics, making it one of many worrisome bacterial strains, such as total-drug-resistant tuberculosis and MRSA,or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Resistant infections are emerging faster than new antibiotics. According to the nonprofit Pew Health Group, from 1935 to 1968, 13 classes of antibiotics were created; since 1968, there have been only two. Antibiotics are hard to develop and the profit margin on them is low because, unlike antidepressants or medications for high blood pressure, they’re not usually taken on a long-term basis.
The demand for such classes of antibiotics is clearly growing- but outside of one of the board members of Merck or Abbott or Pfizer gets untreatable gonorrhea or MRSA- you can bet it won’t happen without a struggle.
- Gonorrhea Could Join Growing List of Untreatable Diseases (blogginghounds.wordpress.com)
- When STDs Are Untreatable (theatlantic.com)
- Warning! Gonorrhea Threat Is Real (dgsma.wordpress.com)