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Super gonorrhea: treating it may actually speed up the spread of the disease

Super gonorrhea

(NaturalNews) Hospitals and medical clinics are having a difficult time containing the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, a bacterial infection which causes painful urination and discharge from the genitals, among other distressing symptoms.

The CDC now admits: "Gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it." Antibiotic resistance has become so troublesome that patients are now being diagnosed with a form of "super gonorrhea" which doesn't respond to current medical treatments. Penicillin, tetracycline, fluoroquinolones and cefixime were once used to treat the bacterial infection, but are all failing, causing the bacteria to evolve into more pervasive forms.

Antibiotics (not necessarily sexual activity) spreading gonorrhea and making it worse

While increased sexual activity with multiple partners heightens one's risk of contracting the disease, patients aren't being told that gonorrhea is spreading even faster and becoming more pervasive because of antibiotic treatments.

Think about that for a moment: It's modern medicine that's making gonorrhea infections worse, causing the disease to spread.

Swiss researchers Stephanie Fingerhuth and Christian Althaus of ETH Zurich, created a mathematical model to study the spread of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and learn the nature of its growing bacterial resistance. Their study shows that increased screening and treatment actually do more harm than good, emboldening bacterial resistance that makes the disease more pervasive.

The research was the first of its kind to assess antibiotic resistance for super gonorrhea in a quantitative manner. Pooling data from two international surveillance programs, the researchers were able to pinpoint the speed at which resistant gonorrhea spreads in different populations. Analyzing sexual behavior of homosexual and heterosexual men, the researchers put together a model detailing incidence of gonorrhea, including the number of new cases each year and the overall number of cases. After putting it all together, their mathematical model could then predict the spread of gonorrhea.

The first trend they found was in heterosexual men. The spread of gonorrhea doubles in this population group every 16 months. In homosexual men, the observed spread was much faster, doubling every 6 months on average, largely because they had more partners than heterosexual men.

Still, it wasn't just the higher number of sexual partners that caused gonorrhea to spread faster. Upon further investigation, the researchers found that men who have sex with men were spreading gonorrhea faster because they were more frequently getting antibiotic treatment for the disease – antibiotic treatment that was making the bacteria more resistant.

Homosexual men sought screening and treatment more frequently, and it was the treatment causing the bacterial resistance over time.

The authors of the study wrote: "Estimating rates of resistance spread is useful for projecting future resistance levels and the expected time it will take until a certain threshold in the proportion of antibiotic-resistant N. gonorrhoeae is reached."

They warn: "Future treatment recommendations for N. gonorrhoeae should carefully balance prevention of N. gonorrhoeae infection and avoidance of the spread of resistance."

Current medical treatment for destroying bacteria (antibiotics) is failing, as humanity faces evolving pathogens. The bacteria we try to destroy are resisting treatment with increasing infectious power. Attempts to control pathogens by destroying microbiology altogether only spur nature to hit back harder with increased resistance. Future treatments for bacterial infections must work with the patient's individual microbiome, not against it. The focus must be centered on strengthening the individual's immune system, instead of destroying its mutually beneficial microbial hosts with antibiotics.

Sources include:




Fingerhuth, S.M., Bonhoeffer, S., Low, N. & Althaus, C.L. (2016) Antibiotic-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae Spread Faster with More Treatment, Not More Sexual Partners. PLOS Pathogens, May 19, 2016

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