Drug-Resistant Std Forewarns Need For More Drug Research

Gonorrhea, once readily treatable with penicillin and more recently with cephalosporin antibiotics, has developed a drug-resistant strain that may leave millions of people worldwide with fewer treatment options, the World Health Organization cautioned Wednesday.

A “superbug” strain of the sexually transmitted disease was isolated in Japan in 2008, but the drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea has yet to be identified as a problem in the United States. According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention statistics, 700,000 new cases of gonorrhea are diagnosed each year in the United States. Worldwide the WHO estimates that 106 million people are infected with gonorrhea annually.

In Indiana, chlamydia is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease, with 21,744 reported cases in 2008, compared to 8,489 cases of gonorrhea.

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