CDC Warns of New Antibiotic Resistance in Gonorrhea

BTL Staff
By | 2016-09-29T09:00:00-04:00 September 29th, 2016|Michigan, News|

Last week at a conference on sexually transmitted infections, the CDC raised alarm about a cluster of cases of gonorrhea that appeared resistant to the last lines of treatment defense for the bacterial disease.
“Our last line of defense against gonorrhea is weakening,” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a press release. “If resistance continues to increase and spread, current treatment will ultimately fail and 800,000 Americans a year will be at risk for untreatable gonorrhea.”
Federal health officials are concerned about a cluster of seven cases identified in Hawaii in April and May of this year that were found resistant to “azithromycin at dramatically higher levels than typically seen in the United States.” Five of those cases also showed “reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone.” Both drugs are the last approved treatments for the infection.
But CDC officials also noted that recent studies of an experimental antibiotic held some hope in providing a new assault on the bacterial infection.
“ETX0914 works differently from any currently marketed antibiotic. As a single-dose oral therapy, it could be used as an alternative to ceftriaxone injection as a component of recommended therapy for gonorrhea, replacing the need for intramuscular injection. CDC researchers contributed to the preclinical evaluation of the antibiotic by showing it was active in the laboratory against strains of gonorrhea that were resistant to other existing classes of drugs,” the CDC press release explained. “In the randomized controlled trial reported today, researchers treated 179 participants (167 men and 12 women) for gonorrhea using ETX0914 alone (at either 2g or 3g dosage levels) or ceftriaxone alone. All patients in the 3g ETX0914 arm (47/47) and 98 percent of patients in the 2g arm (48/49) were cured. A small number of patients (21/179) reported side effects, but most were mild and primarily gastrointestinal.”
The new drug will still have to go through larger clinical trials before it can be approved for general use in the U.S. That could take several more years.
Read the CDC Press Release here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2016/2016-std-prevention-conference-press-release.html

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.