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World Health Organization warns Gonorrhea Could Join HIV as 'Uncurable'
U.S.News & World Report ^ | June 6, 2012 | Jason Koebler

Posted on 06/07/2012 9:30:08 AM PDT by neverdem

Both the WHO and the CDC say it's time to "sound the alarm" on the increase in drug-resistant gonorrhea

First, it was the Centers for Disease Control—now, the World Health Organization is warning that Gonorrhea could join herpes and HIV/AIDS as "uncurable" sexually-transmitted diseases.

"We're sitting on the edge of a worldwide crisis," says Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, of WHO's department of reproductive health and research. "There's a general complacency around sexually transmitted infections in general, and this doesn't have the same political or social pressure as HIV. That's because gonorrhea has been so easily curable so far, but in the future, that won't be the case."

Gonorrhea is estimated to infect more than 100 million people worldwide each year and can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, painful urination, and severe eye infections to babies born to women infected with the disease.

[Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in 37 states]

So far, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea have shown up in the United States, Norway, Sweden, Austria, the United Kingdom and other countries.

All of those cases were cured with cephalosporins, an antibiotic that doctors say is the "last line of defense" against gonorrhea before moving on to injectable antibiotics. Last year, there was one published case of a strain of gonorrhea that showed resistance to injectable antibiotics as well. Lusti-Narasimhan says those cases will soon be the norm.

In February, the CDC estimated that about 1.7 percent of gonorrhea samples (taken from men with gonorrhea at STD clinics in 30 U.S. cities) was resistant to cephalosporins, a 17-fold increase since 2006.

"If [gonorrhea] didn't cause so much trouble, it'd be a really fascinating organism to study—it's a superbug, a really smart organism," she says. "It not only develops resistance rapidly, but it retains memory of past resistance, so you can't say 'Let's try out penicillin' because [the bacteria] has a memory for it."

[Hospital Rooms Crawling With Drug-Resistant Germs.]

The bacteria's penchant for building up resistance has put drug companies in a tough place—developing a new antibiotic is expensive and unlikely to be profitable, and within a few years, gonorrhea would likely develop a resistance to any new drugs used on it, she says.

"Drug manufacturers are in a bizarre scenario—why would they spend a ton of money developing a new drug for what was, until now, one of the most easily treatable STI's?" she says. "They know if they do develop a new drug, it's going to rapidly develop resistance."

So far, every case of gonorrhea in the United States has been treatable through some combination of antibiotics, according to the CDC. In an E-mail, CDC spokesperson Nikki Mayes says it's time for the international health community to "sound the alarm" that untreatable gonorrhea is on the way.

"The bottom line is that treatment of gonorrhea with cephalosporins remains effective [in the United States], and no cases of treatment failures have been seen in the U.S," she wrote. "But we do want people to be aware that if new treatments aren't developed, we may see untreatable gonorrhea in the future."

Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: cephalosporins; gonorrhea; microbiology; moralabsolutes; rkselection; std
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To: AnonymousConservative

You have an interesting theory, but according to biologists neither strategy is superior. If so, how do they account for human dominance of the planet?

21 posted on 06/09/2012 8:49:32 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

They don’t. My opinion, based on the evidence, is this, and I hold it very strongly.

r-strategists were first characterized because scientists wanted to understand invasive species, and why they exploded in number in a new environment, while other species would multiply more slowly. It turns out invasive species followed the r-strategy, and as a result, they could multiply incredibly fast - but only in times of ease, and free resource availability. And they didn’t produce the kind of evolutionary complexity and fitness which would allow them to take over harsher, more fitness-requiring environments.

K-s produce fitness, due to their embrace of competition, but they multiply slower, so they don’t spread as well.

The advantage humans had was our pre-Liberal r’s took off when our home territory overpopulated, and turned K. They spread into every area where resources were freely available, and the environment didn’t require high fitness. They were a human version of an invasive species, and their r-strategy fueled their spread.

As the r’s exhausted each new areas’ resources, things got competitive and they fled, and behind them emerged the K’s who then competed with each other for resources, and established fitter populations which multiplied slower, more in harmony with the environment. As the whole planet fell to us, fitter, more able K’s also spread into, and colonized harsher environments, which required higher levels of fitness to survive.

Humans gained superiority because we combined the invasive species qualities of r at the edge of our spread, with the fitness of K as we acquired a firm foot hold in each new territory. Once established worldwide, our K-natures embraced competition, and evolved us to this state, with the fittest periodically spreading out and taking land over from the less adapted, worldwide.

The main advantage of my work to politics is that Liberals can’t dispute it. Liberalism embraces every value of “r” and Conservatism embraces every value of “K.” And telling everyone that freaks Liberals out, since they can’t refute it.

22 posted on 06/11/2012 9:52:41 AM PDT by AnonymousConservative (Why did Liberals evolve within our species?
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To: AnonymousConservative

True liberals do not reproduce rapidly. The slugs who leach off of society and vote for liberals to keep the free stuff coming DO reproduce rapidly. But those are not true liberals. They are just barely conscious marginally useful bags of meat who do not really have any agenda that extends beyond next week’s paycheck.

23 posted on 06/12/2012 10:48:56 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: 1010RD; Natural Law
They’ve jailed Natural Law, but the walls and bars won’t hold that monster.

Dude ... Seriesly?

24 posted on 06/12/2012 10:57:14 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Rides_A_Red_Horse

>This makes me wonder. Is there any fool proof way to avoid catching a sexually transmitted disease?<

Good thing rape is illegal...

25 posted on 06/12/2012 10:58:42 AM PDT by Darnright ("I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
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To: ArrogantBustard; 1010RD
"They’ve jailed Natural Law, but the walls and bars won’t hold that monster."

"But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”" - Acts 5:22-23

26 posted on 06/12/2012 11:56:38 AM PDT by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
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To: mamelukesabre

“True liberals do not reproduce rapidly. “

Yes, but why do true Liberals reproduce more slowly? Less mating? Less promiscuity? Some K-aspect to their nature? Nope, it’s birth control and abortion.

GSS and gallup data show Libs are more likely to be more promiscuous and support single parenting and out of wedlock births more. In a state of nature that would increase birth rates. It still will, among the more impulsive, less intelligent, less responsible, and less conscientious, who don’t stick to a birth control regime.

But the intelligent and conscientious Liberal’s birth rates are cut because one of the r-strategy’s traits is to seek to minimize parental investment. In nature, where sex always leads to preganncy, this would raise reproductive rates, because you spend less on each child, and can therfore produce more total children.

Modern Liberals, though can use birth control and abortion to eliminate parental investment. And they do. Abortion has killed 50 million, who were probably mostly Lib offspring.

Add in a hundred million or two hundred million, or more whose conception was prevented through birth control, and you would have higher Lib birth rates. Imagine how these urges to promiscuity and low-investment rearing played in primitive times, before we even were conscious of the fact that sex made babies, and you would have even more births.

Of course, my point is not that Libs are “r” (though you can argue that). If you want to extrapolate, you can een argue that Libs probably descended from r’s, and you would probably be right, since they have all the urges.

But my core observation, which is wholly inarguable, is that Liberalism as an ideology embodies every “r” trait, even if the minimizing parental investment trait cuts birthrates among some Liberals, when combined with modern technology. And this is why issues of family intertwine as they do with issues of economics, issues of foreign policy, and issues of personal freedom.

27 posted on 06/12/2012 1:25:36 PM PDT by AnonymousConservative (Why did Liberals evolve within our species?
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