U.S. government health officials have warned that the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea is becoming increasingly resistant to the last type of antibiotics left to treat it.
Strains of the disease that are resistant to the class of antibiotic drugs called cephalosporins have appeared in several countries. While no cases of resistant gonorrhea have been reported in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that laboratory studies are detecting growing signs of resistance.
According to the New York Times:
“The trends … are concerning, because cephalosporin drugs are the fourth type of antibiotic used to treat gonorrhea since the 1940s. Resistance to penicillin and tetracycline occurred during the 1970s and became widespread during the early 1980s, the CDC reported. More recently, the disease became resistant to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, and in 2007 the government stopped recommending those drugs for gonorrhea treatment. That left cephalosporin drugs as the last line of defense against gonorrhea.”