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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-61

The Urgent Need for a New Drug to Contain Gonorrhea Infection


1 Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Ammapettai, Chennai, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication27-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Ammapettai, Kancheepuram, Chennai 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_63_17

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. The Urgent Need for a New Drug to Contain Gonorrhea Infection. MAMC J Med Sci 2018;4:60-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. The Urgent Need for a New Drug to Contain Gonorrhea Infection. MAMC J Med Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Aug 19];4:60-1. Available from: http://www.mamcjms.in/text.asp?2018/4/1/60/228656



Dear Editor,

Gonorrhea has been acknowledged as one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) transmitted worldwide.[1] The available estimates suggest that close to 78 million people acquire the infection each year across the globe, with the Western Pacific region being the worst affected, accounting for more than 45% of the global burden.[1] The causative bacteria not only involve the genitalia, but even the rectum and throat, and have been attributed to various serious complications among women (viz. pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility, and increased susceptibility to other STIs).[1],[2]

The findings from more than 75 nations revealed a significant increase in the incidence of antibiotic resistance, as the causative bacteria have the tendency to evolve and develop resistance to any class of antibiotic, which are used against them.[1] Thus, it is becoming extremely difficult to manage the infection.[2] In fact, nations with a better quality of surveillance have reported the incidents of untreatable infections.[1],[2] Further, it would not be wrong to comment that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg, as most of the untreatable infections go undetected due to the poor quality of surveillance or due to the ignorance of people to seek treatment.[1]

To monitor the trends of drug resistance, antimicrobial surveillance program has been initiated at the global level, with the available figures suggesting extensive resistance against ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, and extended spectrum cephalosporins.[1],[3] From the research and development perspective, only three new drugs in different stages of clinical development are in the pipeline, which in itself is a major cause of concern.[1],[2] This is predominantly due to the limited attraction for the commercial pharmaceutical agencies, as the duration of treatment is quite short and there is a definitive risk of development of resistance, which then results in reduced potency.[1]

In an attempt to respond to such scenarios, the World Health Organization in collaboration with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative have initiated a global partnership, under which the aim is to develop new antibiotic treatments and encourage its correct use for enhancing its effectiveness for longer periods.[1] With regard to gonorrhea, it is high time to expedite the progress and introduction of any one of the pipeline drugs and subsequently assess the scope of combination therapy for public health use.[1] Nevertheless, the best way to deal with the infection is to prevent it through safe sexual behavior and empowering people about the symptoms of the disease to increase the chances to seek clinical care.[1],[2],[3]

To conclude, for ensuring a better control of the infection, there is an immense need for new tools and systems to facilitate better prevention, early diagnosis, adequate treatment, and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhoea on the Rise, New Drugs Needed; 2017. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/Antibiotic-resistant-gonorrhoea/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 13].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines for the Treatment of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. Geneva: WHO Press; 2016. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Exploring the scope of enhanced gonococcal antimicrobial surveillance programme. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2017;38:100-1.  Back to cited text no. 3
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