10 Million Deaths a Year Projected if STD Resistance Not Addressed; Is Gonorrhea Developing Resistance to Azithromycin?

Azithromycin may soon develop a resistance in eradicating gonorrhea as warning signs began to arise.

New research found that Azithromycin is slowly becoming resistant to gonorrhea infection, the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the United States.

With this, it may cause 10 million deaths a year from antimicrobial resistance which has brought worries to the public prompting them to ask, what other alternatives are availble and safe for the people.

Antibiotics Resistant to Gonorrhea

Over time, the infection already outsmarted multiple drugs like fluoroquinolones, tetracycline, and penicillin. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worry that the bacteria might mutate into a stronger genome and be resistant to its current antibiotic cure.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention said that so far in the United States, there were no treatment failures.

Gonorrhea's Recommended Dose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommended treatment for this sexually transmitted bacterial infection is a single shot of ceftriaxone together with an oral dose of azithromycin.

Bacteria's Resistance Level

Data from the CDC regarding gonorrhea's resistance level has increased in 2014 having an input of 2.5 percent, from 0.6 percent in 2013. "While no treatment failures have been reported in the United States, this data shows a very troubling trend, one that NCDS has been raising a clarion call on for yours: that gonorrhea is steadily outwitting the drugs we have to treat it," executive director, William Smith of the National Coalition of STD Directors said.

He also noted that the result was also reflected in a recent gonorrhea treatment failure in the United Kingdom. "Not only do we need new drugs to fight this infection but we also need additional resources to address our current gonorrhea epidemic, as rates are currently rising across the country," Smith added.

Monitoring Resistance to Cephalosporins

The center has also been monitoring the other essential drug that is recommended treatment for gonorrhea. Cephalosporins, which contains five generation classes, began showing signs of ineffectiveness, Dr. Mermin said. A study conducted in England and Wales also suggested the same warning signs about the drug.

Causes of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea when left untreated can cause chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammation in women leading to infertility and ectopic pregnancy. It can also cause infertility in men. There are 350,00 reported cases of gonorrheal infection in 2014 but the CDC estimates that there are more than 800,000 cases occur each year some of which were less than half diagnosed. Reason for this is that both genders don't show any symptoms.

Disease Prevention

Dr. Mermin explained that one of the methods to reduce the risk of infection is to treat the infected person as soon as possible to limit the spread of the disease from person to person, with the recommended treatment. The other recommendation is to refrain from having multiple partners and use latex condom in having a sexual intercourse.