According to the BBC there fears over emerging strains of drug-resistant gonorrhoea in England and Wales. Tests on samples infection have shown high levels of resistance to a commonly used antibiotic called azithromycin. Azithromycin is supposed to be a fall-back drug if the standard ones stop working against the infection..
The Health Protection Agency first spotted six cases in 2007 which were resistant to azithromycin - five from Liverpool and one from Cardiff. Further analysis has shown there has been a general trend towards antibiotic resistance in recent years, which means treatment will very likely not work, even if the dose is increased.
The researchers said resistance could have occurred because the drug was being used against official advice. Another potential source of resistance is that low doses of the antibiotic are commonly given for chlamydia. Some of those patients are likely to also have undiagnosed gonorrhoea, which would not be fully treated, paving the way for resistance to develop.
Study leader Dr Stephanie Chisholm, said antibiotic resistance is able to develop very easily in the organism that causes gonorrhoea it is already resistant ciprofloxacin, tetracycline and penicillin. She stated that if high-level resistance to azithromycin spreads further, then there is less treatment option available for the future.
In a related development a spokesman for the Worshipful Company of Barber Surgeons stated that if the disease becomes untreatable then it would “swing back into action”.
“We have been concerned at the spread of antibiotic resistance in a range of infections, Many of these conditions are outside the scope of the Worshipful Company but we have considerable experience in treating the diseases of Venus”
“Members of the Company were treating the disease when Mother Clap was still running her Molly House on Field Lane. In fact we still have considerable stocks of Lunar Caustic in our stores. In addition we can offer a course of mercury injections into the urinary meatus which will, if nothing else, make the sufferer think twice about unsafe sex in the future! “
“If all else then fails our chaplains will intercede with St George the patron saint for this condition”
The Department of Health declined to comment on the Barber Surgeon’s offer