Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea Reported in San Diego: CDC

5 cases among gay or bisexual men highlight need for surveillance, experts say

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Five cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea found in San Diego County between August and October 2009 show the need for continued surveillance for such cases, according to a new report from public health officials.

The researchers noted that antibiotic treatment can successfully cure gonorrhea, but drug-resistant strains of the sexually transmitted disease have been found worldwide.

Each year in the United States, more than 700,000 people get new gonorrheal infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatment with two drugs (dual therapy) is recommended to treat the infection and prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

The five cases documented in the report involved patients with gonorrhea that was resistant to azithromycin, one of the antibiotics in the recommended dual therapy. The patients were all men who had sex with men and who had no known connections to each other.

This suggests that the antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea may be widespread among men who have sex with men in San Diego County, the researchers warned. Continued surveillance is essential for detecting these strains and guiding patient treatment, they added.

Three of the five patients were white, one was black and one was Hispanic. Four were residents of San Diego County and one was a resident of a Midwestern state. The average age of the patients was 29.

The report is published in the May 13 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about gonorrhea.

Robert Preidt SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, May 12, 2011

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