I recently heard a radio call-in guest say she made her husband wear a condom. Wow. Okay then.

Along time ago, any STD you could catch could be cured with a dose of antibiotics and condoms were just for birth control.

Things changed thirty years ago with the first diagnosed case of HIV/AIDS, but well, since then some people have just gotten sloppy, think condoms suck, and/or have no clue. So for all you clueless lazy-boning latex un-likers, guess what? There’s a nifty new twist to an old school infection (and it’s not herpes, HPV or Hep-C, three more reasons to use a rubber).

Say hello to antibiotic resistant gonorrhea!  Yes, a strain of the crotch cootie immune to all antibiotic treatment was recently discovered in Japan, and scientists from the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria have just identified the genetic mutation responsible for the its extreme resistance to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics, the traditional prescriptions, in this new strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The Swedish Reference Laboratory’s Dr. Magnus Unemo was not surprised by the discovery of H041, as the new N. gonorrhoeae is called. He told the BBC:

Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it.

While it is still too early to assess if this new strain has become widespread, the history of newly emergent resistance in the bacterium suggests that it may spread rapidly unless new drugs and effective treatment programs are developed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in United States, strains of gonorrhea have been resistant to penicillin and tetracycline became widespread by the early 1980s and are now treated with cephalosporin and either azithromycin or doxycycline.  H041 is reportedly resistant to all known forms of antibiotics.

Given that living things evolve as they reproduce, and bacteria reproduce pretty darn quickly, new drugs will eventually become obsolete, and ta da! Super-clap!

Gonorrhea is the most common sexually transmitted disease; the CDC  reports 700,000 new cases year. And most of these get treated with antibiotics, and some of those bacteria just might mutate…

So use a condom. BTW, 50% of women infected with gonorrhea are asymptomatic, as are 2% to 5% of men according to the BBC.

[photo: creative commons, Writing on the Mall]