Gonorrhea Threat

A new strain of gonorrhea is resistant to all currently available antibiotics.

Jul 11, 2011
Megan Scudellari

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that causes gonorrheaCDC

Researchers have isolated a superbug strain of “the clap,” one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world, that is resistant to all available antibiotics. The gonorrhea strain, dubbed H041, was isolated from a sex trade worker in Japan. Scientists do not yet know how far the strain has spread.

“The big fear is that if the strain becomes dominant, there will be a real problem,” Michel Alary, a population health researcher at Laval University in Quebec, told the Vancouver Sun. “It’s not treatable.”

The finding was presented yesterday (July 10) at the 19th conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research in Quebec City, Canada. "This is both an alarming and a predictable discovery," lead investigator Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, said in a statement. "Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it."