Gonorrhea Rates Way Up in England **bob**

Gonorrhea strain more resistant to common treatments increased cases 25 percent in England

(RxWiki News) The bugs are fighting back: a certain STD strain has increased resistance to common drug treatments across England and Wales.

Thus, the number of new gonorrhea cases across England jumped 25 percent in 2011 compared to the year before, according to a report published last week. The strain is more resistant to medicines containing ceftriaxone and azithromycin.

The report provides an action plan that calls for a heightened response to treat the STD.

"Wear a condom!"

In England, bacterial gonorrhea is the second most common STD with almost 21,000 new diagnoses in 2011. If left untreated, the STD can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in both men and women.

The report, created by the Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Program (GRASP), addresses the increasing resistance of therapeutic options concerning treatment for gonorrhea in England.

The GRASP report described how certain strains of gonorrhea have become more resistant to medicines containing ceftriaxone and azithromycin, sold as Rocephin and Zithromax in the US.

Gonorrhea's susceptibility to Rocephin has declined for the first time since 2007. The STD's resistance to azithromycin has remained stable at 0.5 percent in 2011.

Sally Davies, chief medical officer at the Health Protection Agency in the UK, said that antimicrobial resistance "will increasingly threaten our ability to tackle infections."

"Ensuring treatment resistant gonorrhea strains do not persist and spread remains a major public health concern," said Cathy Ison, project lead of the GRASP Action Plan and director of the Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory in the UK, in a press release.

"The GRASP Action Plan raises awareness of this important issue and sets out practical, measurable actions to extend the useful life of the current recommended therapies in England and Wales,” she said.

GRASP collected information from 24 clinics across England and Wales from July 2011 to September 2011.

The action plan detects treatment failures, provides guidance and adheres to management guidelines to reduce the spread of gonorrhea.

Review Date: 
February 25, 2013