Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gonorrhea--Gross but a fact of life

The STD called "the clap" infects 800,000 people a year in the US. It can cause infertility, tubal pregnancy, and increase the risk of HIV.

Yet, it has become a bleak area of medical research--resistant to most antibiotics.

Betsy McKay wrote about this in the WSJ, July 16, 2013.

The bacteria have become resistant to all but one class of antibiotics and are gaining on that one. The medicine has to be injected and must be obtained, then the patient must return to the doctor.

But all is not lost. Apparently a regimen using existing drugs and a new drug altogether have been devised. These can have debilitating side effects, although the new drug--solithromycin--has fewer.

"An encouraging development in a discouraging field," one doc said.

Gonorrhea is tricky--mutating constantly, hoarding the new changed genes, rather than mutating back to a drug-susceptible type.

Obviously, the best thing is not to contract this disease--condoms, people!

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