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A supergonococci resistant to all common antibiotics

gonococci showed remarkable ability to develop mechanisms of resistance to almost all antibiotics
gonococci showed remarkable ability to develop mechanisms of resistance to almost all antibiotics

Antibiotic resistance of gonococci is alarming. A new strain of the bacterium that causes gonorrhea has indeed been identified in Japan. It is resistant to all antibiotics currently recommended for the treatment of this disease. It is a Swedish researcher Magnus Unemo, who is responsible for this discovery.

His work, a collaboration with Japanese scientists on samples taken in Kyoto, were presented Monday in Canada at the 19th Conference of the International Society for research on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

"Since antibiotics have become the standard treatment of gonorrhea in the 40s, the bacterium showed remarkable ability to develop mechanisms of resistance to all drugs introduced to combat it," says Magnus Unemo. This new discovery was therefore "predictable". "Japan is a traditional place of emergence of gonococci that spread around the world," he also said to Reuters. According to him, historical data shows that the emergence of a new resistance is between 10 and 20 years to spread throughout the world.

A U.S. study presented at the same conference shows that the parallel resistance of gonococci to cephalosporins, the last effective antibiotics at present, has increased dramatically over the past decade. The only known solution to stop this trend is to use a cocktail of several different molecules to slow down the appearance of resistance.

In the specific case of Japanese ancestry, it is too late. The last option is to test carbopenem, the most recent class of antibiotics. There is no evidence, however, to ensure they are effective against the newcomer. In this case only safe sex with condoms will help to guard against the bacteria.


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