The common sexually-transmitted disease gonorrhea is becoming nearly impossible to treat due to antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.
"The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them," said Dr Teodora Wi, Medical Officer, Human Reproduction, at WHO.
Data collected from 77 countries revealed that the STD has taken on widespread resistance to older and cheaper antibiotics, even in high-income locations.
Adding to the issue is a lack of interest by commercial pharmaceutical companies to develop new antibiotics to treat gonorrhea. Unlike medicines for chronic diseases, treatment for gonorrhea is relatively short, with only drugs taken for short periods of time. That, coupled with the drug's increased antibiotic resistance, means that the supply of new drugs constantly needs to be replenished.