The problem of antibacterial resistance is, if you’ll pardon the pun, a growing one and it’s looking like Gonorrhea is near to joining the already too-long list:
Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world with about 600,000 cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. A few years ago, investigators started seeing cases of infection that did not easily respond to treatment with a group of drugs called cephalosporins, which are currently the last line of defense against this particular infection. Now, the number of drug-resistant cases has grown so much in the U.S. and elsewhere that gonorrheal infection may soon become untreatable, according to doctors writing in the February 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
There have been reports on resistant forms of E. coli, tuberculosis, and pneumonia in the recent past and there isn’t a whole lot of research being done on new antibiotics to replace the ones that are becoming useless. I wonder if the potential for Gonorrhea becoming untreatable will motivate some companies to invest in the research. Think of the profits that could be made.
In the meantime, be careful who you bump uglies with. There’s more than AIDS out there to be worried about.