Drug-resistant gonorrhea found in Canadian clinic

Workers at a Canadian clinic recently found that nearly seven percent of their patients with gonorrhea were infected with a multidrug-resistant strain.

The strain found at the clinic does not respond to any known oral antibiotic and public health experts have warned that it may eventually become untreatable. Antibiotic resistant strains of gonorrhea have appeared in Japan and Europe, but according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, this is the first time the strain has been found in a large population in North America, according to LiveScience.com.

"We've been very concerned about the threat of potentially untreatable gonorrhea," Dr. Gail Bolan of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, LiveScience.com reports. "We feel it's only a matter of time until resistance will occur in the United States.

The Canadian patients were eventually cured with a powerful injectable antibiotic called ceftriaxone.

Dr. Vanessa Allen, the lead researcher on the study, is worried because doctors are now seeing a rise in ceftriaxone resistance as well.

"The next threat is when, not if, the same thing happens with ceftriaxone. And then what?" Dr. Allen said, LiveScience.com reports. "I think without a doubt this will become a bigger problem."