- ATLANTA (Reuters Health)
- Treating the common sexually transmitted disease (STD) gonorrhea with
some antibiotics may no longer be effective in Hawaii, US government researchers
said Thursday. Their report highlights a growing trend of antibiotic-resistant
gonorrhea that also affects the mainland United States.
- A number of cases of gonorrhea resistant to ciprofloxacin--one
of a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones--have been identified
in Hawaii, according to the latest report. ``The percentage of (gonorrhea-causing
bacteria) in Hawaii that were (resistant to ciprofloxacin) increased from
1.4% in 1997 to 9.5% in 1999,'' the researchers write in the September
22nd issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
- ``Gonorrhea has a high affinity for acquiring new resistance
and fluoroquinolones are commonly used to treat many types of infection
within the community,'' said Dr. Chris Iverson, of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention). He explained that the widespread use of fluoroquinolones
to treat many different types of infections, not just gonorrhea, increases
the chances that we will see increased gonorrheal resistance to fluoroquinolones
in the US.
- ``Our concern is that it will eventually become a problem
in the US...we do expect that with time (fluoroquinolone resistance) will
transfer over to the mainland United States,'' Iverson said.
- Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported STD in
the US, after chlamydia. More than 320,000 cases were reported to the CDC
in 1997. In recent years, the disease has become increasingly prevalent
among men who have sex with men, according to the agency.
- SOURCE: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2000;49:833-837.
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