Antibiotic resistance making gonorrhoea treatment harder
By Suraksha P | Express News Service | Published: 17th July 2017 03:39 AM |
BENGALURU: The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced recently that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), “much harder and sometimes impossible to treat citing data from 77 countries including India.”
India has been coordinating with the Gonorrhoea Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (GASP) in South East Asia region of WHO. Venereologists or STD specialists in Bengaluru who previously treated the disease with just an oral tablet -- Cefixime, are now having to treat the infection with a combination of drugs, including an injection. Self-medication, symptoms of other STDs, over the counter drugs, incomplete treatment has made it hard to treat the disease. Unlike the US, the disease is not even notifiable, which means the state does not have data on the incidence and the prevalence.
Dr Rajesh H N, venereologist, Nirmala Skin and Hair Clinic, Ramamurthynagar, said, “The problem with treating gonorrhoea is it doesn’t occur individually. It occurs with a urinary tract infection (UTI). Only condom promotion can help. I see at least one case in my clinic every month and more cases in Vydehi hospital.”
Dr Jaidev Yadav, venereologist, Vikram Hospital, said, “The WHO recommends syndromic or symptomatic approach. Patients may suffer from burning, stinging sensation and have discharge but may not visit an STD specialist. There may be increased frequency of menstruation too. We treat it with a combination of Aziphromycin and Cethelosporins injection.”
Gonorrhoea can be confirmed with a smear test. There are also high end tests available. “Birth control measures like intra uterine device can prevent pregnancy but only barrier methods like condoms can prevent gonorrhoea,” Yadav said.
According to the WHO, though there are 11.6 million people in southeast Asia suffering from gonorrhoea, India-specific data is not available.
“Five cases out of 10 STDs that we see in a month are that of gonorrhoea. Also, since the bacteria dies too quickly, when slides are sent from rural areas, it becomes difficult to test and confirm diagnosis,” he said.