A drug resistant form of gonorrhea headed to our shores

With the amount of drugs that we take as a society doctors have been warning for years that there will come a time when we are going to run up a totally drug resistant type of disease.

Well, it the reports by Japanese and European doctors are any indication that day has come and while it hasn’t reared its ugly head so far here in North America the doctors say it is only a matter of time.

So what is this disease that currently 4 to 8 fold resistant to treatment and with the potential of reaching 500-fold?


Yup the sexually transmitted disease that at one time could be cured with a simple shot of penicillin has bounced back with a vengeance. While the days of penicillin being the answer have been long gone the current crop of drugs from the cephalosporins used to treat the disease are beginning to fail, and this doesn’t bode well.

H041, first found in a the pharynx of a Japanese sex worker, is 4- to 8-fold more resistant to ceftriaxone — the only form of cephalosporin used to treat that type of gonorrhea in the throat — than any strain ever found.

Resistant strain could arrive in U.S. soon
When researchers grew H041 with other gonorrhea strains, genetic recombination increased those strains’ resistance by up to 500-fold.

“Why this is so concerning is that there are no other treatment options besides cephalosporins right now,” said Dr. Kimberly Workowski, an STD infection expert at Emory University. “For pharyngeal infection, oral drugs do not work and ceftiaxone is the only injectable.”

What’s more, she explained, if history is any guide, the H041 strain will soon arrive in the U.S.