The World Health Organization has warned
the public to cultivate the use of condoms
during sex as it's becoming dangerous for
those who take part in oral sex. It warns that
if someone contracts gonorrhea through oral
sex, it's now much harder to treat, and in
some cases impossible.
Experts say the situation was "fairly grim"
with few new drugs on the horizon as the
sexually transmitted infection is rapidly
developing resistance to antibiotics.
According to WHO, about 78 million people
pick up the STI each year risking infertility,
while analysed data from 77 countries have
shown gonorrhea's resistance to antibiotics
Dr. Teodora Wi , from the WHO, said there had
even been three cases - in Japan, France, and Spain - where the infection was completely untreatable.
She said: "Gonorrhea is a very smart bug,
every time you introduce a new class of
antibiotics to treat gonorrhea, the bug
Worryingly, the vast majority of gonorrhea
infections are in poor countries where
resistance is harder to detect. "These cases
may just be the tip of the iceberg," she added.
According to her, Gonorrhea can infect the
genitals, rectum, and throat, but it is the last
that is most concerning health officials.
Dr. Wi said antibiotics could lead to bacteria
in the back of the throat, including relatives of
gonorrhea, developing resistance.
She said: "When you use antibiotics to treat
infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes
with the Neisseria species in your throat and
this results in resistance." Adding that 'In the
US, resistance [to an antibiotic] came from men having sex with men because of pharyngeal infection.
The Organization also warned that thrusting
gonorrhea bacteria into this environment
through oral sex can lead to super-gonorrhea
if there is a decline in condom use.
They are now calling on countries to monitor
the spread of resistant gonorrhea and to invest in new drugs.
In the report, Dr. Manica Balasegaram , from
the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, said: "The situation is fairly grim.
"There are only three drug candidates in the entire drug [development] pipeline and no guarantee any will make it out."
But ultimately, the WHO said vaccines would
be needed to stop gonorrhea.
Reacting to the report, Prof Richard Stabler,
from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical
"Ever since the introduction of penicillin,
hailed as a reliable and quick cure, gonorrhea
has developed resistance to all therapeutic
"In the past 15 years , therapy has had to
change three times following increasing rates
of resistance worldwide.
"We are now at a point where we are using
the drugs of last resort, but there are
worrying signs of treatment failure due to
resistant strains has been documented."