Superbug horror -- scientists discover gonorrhea superbug that defies all known antibiotics
NaturalNews.com
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The danger of superbugs -- infectious germs that are resistant to a host of Big Pharma's drug arsenal -- a growing and deadly problem in the 21st century. For example, as NaturalNews covered earlier this year, the U.S. meat supply is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, including the superbug variety (http://www.naturalnews.com/032099_p...).

And hospitals are now breeding grounds for the antibiotic resistant germs. In fact, the heartbreaking truth is that newborn babies are acquiring these superbug infections at an alarming rate in neonatal units

But while superbugs are resistant to most antibiotics, a new superbug strain has been found that is completely resistant to every antibiotic . That's the finding of an international research team who just announced their discovery -- a superbug form of gonorrhea -- at the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research (ISSTDR) currently underway in Quebec City, Canada.

In a statement to the media, Dr. Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, warned that the new strain is likely to transform a common and once easily treatable infection into nothing less than a global threat to public health. Dr. Unemo, Dr. Makoto Ohnishi and their colleagues have identified a variant of the bacterium which causes gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, that has never been documented before. And, as the researchers analyzed this new strain, (called H041, for short) they found genetic mutations in the bacterium that have resulted in a fearsome superbug that shows what the scientists called "extreme resistance" to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics -- the only drugs that, until now, have remained effective in treating gonorrhea.

"This is both an alarming and a predictable discovery," Dr. Unemo said in the media statement. "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," Dr. Unemo continued.

The new superbug strain is especially dangerous because gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases on the planet. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases in the U.S. alone is around 700,000 annually.

It's a particularly insidious STD because it doesn't immediately produce symptoms in around half of infected women and approximately 2 to 5 percent of men. When symptoms occur, they include a burning sensation during urination and a discharge of pus from the genitals. If it is left untreated -- or, in the case of the new strain, can't be treated, gonorrhea can cause serious, irreversible health complications in both sexes, including skin, blood, joint and heart problems leading to death.

Not only can infection with gonorrhea result in chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy, it can cause infertility in women (and, to a lesser degree, in men). It also increases the risk of HIV transmission. Babies born to mothers infected with gonorrhea are at high risk for developing serious blood and joint infections and may be blind, too.

While the discovery a new strain of gonorrhea superbug is worrisome, don't panic. Remember that your first line of defense is safe sex and a healthy immune system bolstered by good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. In addition, you can search the NaturalNews archives for natural approaches to fighting superbugs without relying on Big Pharma's drugs.



Scientists worry over spread of new superbug
Drug-resistant bacteria found in India; medical tourism link to risk


msnbc.com news services

LONDON A new superbug could spread around the world after reaching Britain from India -- in part because of medical tourism -- and scientists say there are almost no drugs to treat it.

The superbug has so far been identified in 37 people who returned to the U.K. after undergoing surgery in India or Pakistan.

In an article published online Wednesday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, doctors reported finding a new gene, called NDM-1. NDM-1 makes bacteria highly resistant to almost all known antibiotics, including the most powerful class called carbapenems, and experts say there are no new drugs on the horizon to tackle it. It has been seen largely in E. coli bacteria, the most common cause of urinary tract infections, and on DNA structures that can be easily copied and passed onto other types of bacteria.

The NDM-1 superbug is becoming more common in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan and is also being imported back to Britain in patients returning after treatment.

"India also provides cosmetic surgery for other Europeans and Americans, and it is likely NDM-1 will spread worldwide," the scientists wrote in the study.

Aside from the U.K., the resistant gene has also been detected in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the U.S. and Sweden.

"The potential of NDM-1 to be a worldwide public health problem is great, and coordinated international surveillance is needed," the authors wrote. "The spread of these multi-resistant bacteria merits very close monitoring," wrote Johann Pitout of the division of microbiology at the University of Calgary, Canada, in an accompanying commentary.