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Biotech Medicine

Gonorrhea As the Next Superbug 456

WrongSizeGlass writes "Reuters is reporting that Gonorrhea risks becoming a superbug: 'The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea risks becoming a drug-resistant "superbug" if doctors do not devise new ways of treating it, a leading sexual health expert said.'"
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Gonorrhea As the Next Superbug

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  • I've got the cure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:05PM (#31682126)

    I've got the cure!

    It's called a condom and not screwing nasty hoes!

    • by McGiraf ( 196030 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:06PM (#31682140)

      You must live a dull life.

      • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:08PM (#31682160)

        Maybe, but at least I don't have gonorrhea!

      • by Aranykai ( 1053846 ) <slgonser&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:09PM (#31682172)

        You must be new here.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:07PM (#31682150)

      My cure is posting on slashdot.

    • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:09PM (#31682166) Homepage Journal
      Where are these "Nasty Ho's" that you speak of? This dry spell has gone on so long that even knotholes in fences are starting to look good.
    • by WheelDweller ( 108946 ) <WheelDweller AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @01:28AM (#31683258)

      A few weeks back Slashdot ran a story about MRSA and other 'superbugs' being fought in (I believe it was) Finland.

      The cool thing about it is, for at least a decade they've been using the same level of sanitation as 50 years ago: steam-cleaning the floors and walls, not using HAND SANITIZER all the time, and letting the place remain a bit "dirtier" than our own hospitals. THEY HAVE THE LOWEST NUMBER OF SUCH CASES.

      It makes sense; let the lesser-bugs go, kill with dumber, more-trusted ways that kill ALL the bugs or none at all, and the superbugs have to mate with lesser-bugs. This bleeds out the specialty features.

      Meanwhile, everytime someone shakes hands in America, they hit it again with the sanitizer. It's just a never-ending "Germ Olympics" where only the strongest survive.

      We really need to consider 'alternative' means like this, and I think you've hit the penis on the head! :>

      • by nido ( 102070 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .65odin.> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:10AM (#31683908) Homepage

        When I was at the Natural Food store the other day, I noticed a probiotic in the refridgerator display called femdophilus [jarrow.com]. This product has two strains of lactic acid-producing bacteria that are well suited to colonizing the vagina.

        Here's another one: http://www.gynophilus.ca/ [gynophilus.ca]

        I have an anecdote about conventional medical thought on bacteria, fungi, and the vagina. I took a late trip home a few months back, and Loveline came on the radio. I listened fairly regularly a long time ago, so I 'tuned in' for old times' sake.

        One caller asked Dr. Drew what he could do about his new girlfriend's horrible vaginal odor. Dr. Drew & Crew were like, "what can you do? Bacterial Vaginosis is hard to treat. Don't say anything."

        A later caller wanted to know what she could do about recurrent yeast infections. She'd tried any number of pharmaceutical anti-fungal medications, but the yeast didn't give up.

        Knowing a bit about so-called "alternative" medical technology, I picked up the cell phone and called. While I was on hold, another caller came on to say that she had good luck with dealing with teh yeast by using only polyester underwear.

        I asked Dr. Drew if it was safe to use yogurt in the vagina. He was like, "sure, but why bother? It's not going to help. These people have tried the most powerful antifungals available, and still have problems. What can yogurt do that drugs cannot?" (this was his sentiment, if not the exact wording).

        While Yogurt is a sub-optimal probiotic solution, at least it's getting to the root of the problem. Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are caused when "bad" bacterial and fungi are able to establish themselves. No matter how many of these "bad" bacteria/fungi the antibiotic/antifungal is able to take out (99.9999% is not enough), the survivors will be able to quickly reestablish themselves once the pills are stopped.

        In alternative medical thinking, "good" bacteria are used to coat the digestive system / skin / vagina with a protective film. When "bad" bacteria come along, there's no room available, so they can't establish a colony.

        I don't know if there's been any research about probiotics & gonorrhea. But it'd be an interesting study...

        here's an article about probiotics & Urinary tract infections: Specific probiotic strains are effective for genitourinary infections [findarticles.com], Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Nov, 2006 by Alan R. Gaby

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by benjfowler ( 239527 )

          *Dons tin foil hat*

          In the meantime folks, please get your sex-ed and medical advice from a DOCTOR, and not your local crank. These people spend a decade in college for a reason.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Opportunist ( 166417 )

            To paraphrase my doc (who also happens to be a good friend of mine): I studied med, so I could get my hand at the more interesting drugs legally.

            There's your reason why they spend a decade in college.

            • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:43AM (#31685206) Homepage Journal
              The only interesting drugs we have access to are depressants and stimulants (and the stimulants are watched much more closely than the depressants). If you want psychedelics, you'd be far better served by getting a PhD in organic chemistry.

              BTW, is your friend an anesthesiologist? I've always contended that the relatively high rate of drug abuse among anesthesiologists is a result of high-functioning drug users making a rational choice to go into the specialty with the keys to the candy store, and some of them getting in over their head.
        • by iroll ( 717924 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @11:29AM (#31688388) Homepage

          This is not "alternative medical thinking." Alternative Medical Thinking would be making a homeopathic yogurt dilution and believing that the spirit of the yogurt was imprinted on the solvent. Doctors (like Dr. Drew) are professionals, just like programmers. They can be wrong, or behind the times, or attention-grabbing without actually being representative of the state of their field.

          Treating and encouraging your natural bacterial flora is mainstream medicine, and the yogurt trick for encouraging health "down there" is something a lot of doctors will pass along. I can't speak to your personal experience, but anecdotes =/= mainstream medicine. Your family physician will probably also tell you to eat some yogurt when they give you antibiotics to clear up some strep throat or another nasty bacteria, because it'll help replenish the good bacteria in your gut that you have been eliminating, and keep you from getting a monster case of the runs.

          And there are the studies on GM bacteria mouthwashes, to colonize your mouth with bacteria that out-compete your old, cavity-causing flora with something safer. And the studies that show that while we've generally eliminated the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, we've also caused some downstream problems because those bacteria were part of a balancing act in the ecosystem in there. The bacterial flora are a hot areas of research.

          I'm not a doctor, but I have a degree in bioengineering, and I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:06PM (#31682138) Journal

    Gonorrhea? I thought we had that one licked.

    Thank god we all agree that teaching adolescent kids about condoms is a good idea, or this could get really become a big problem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by X0563511 ( 793323 )

      Unfortunately it seems it will take an outbreak of Gonorrhea 2.0 to get the lesson to stick.

      Thankfully, it will be a hell of a lot easier to prevent than the bugs roaming the hospitals now.

      As another poster put it: 'It's called a condom and not screwing nasty hoes!'

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by blankaBrew ( 1000609 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:09PM (#31682170)
      I doubt that this would be an issue for the average slashdot reader.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZekoMal ( 1404259 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:12PM (#31682202)
      I smell sarcasm; in my school 90% of the kids firmly believed that abstinence was the best preventive measure, but decided that meant having boatloads of oral sex without condoms. 8% thought that they didn't need condoms, and the remaining 2% were split up by reasonable people and virginal nerds...

      Maybe we can get some well needed crowd thinning.

      • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:57PM (#31682638)

        Abstinence is the best (well, most effective) preventative measure. It's just that, like the pill and condoms, it fails when people don't actually use it. What your anecdote shows is that there should probably be a greater emphasis placed on STDs and the possibility of infection via oral sex in current sex ed.

        • What your anecdote shows is that there should probably be a greater emphasis placed on STDs and the possibility of infection via oral sex in current sex ed.

          This is not news. The _only_ reason we're even seriously talking about abstinence is because the conservative Christians in this country want to put their heads in the sand and believe it can actually be effective, or if it's not it's some kind of moral failing. They'll fight your proposal tooth and nail because they seriously believe that talking abou

        • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:51AM (#31682992) Homepage
          Abstinence is like communism: in a perfect world, it'd work.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:12PM (#31682204)

      Gonorrhea? I thought we had that one licked.

      Well there is your problem: DONT LICK ANYONE WITH GONORRHEA.

    • Syphilis and chlamydia rates are also going up after being down in the 90s, and they also are curable diseases.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Nadaka ( 224565 )

      i would not recommend licking Gonorrhea.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:08PM (#31682156)

    No one on slashdot will ever be exposed.

  • Let us clap (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kitkoan ( 1719118 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:10PM (#31682182)
    For the Claps big return
  • I can't really decide, here.

    On the one hand, if you're playing around without wearing a condom, then you're a Darwin Award. On the other hand, this could be exceptionally nasty in third world nations, especially in places where condoms aren't available or expensive. Now it's Nature's Reset Button. And if the people are listening to a religious restriction, saying condom use is against their faith, now we're back to the Darwin angle.

    Either way, you're screwed.

  • by cosm ( 1072588 ) <thecosm3@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:17PM (#31682240)
    Perhaps in the eyes of the overlords, or perhaps evolution, STDs are a "feature not a bug" situation, a form population control. Reducing numbers through the attempt to increase numbers. I wonder if we should start including a Trojan constant in our population growth and decay models. Combined with the social network clusterfuck [slashdot.org], perhaps we need a digital vaccine. Hope your not allergic to PCillin [trendmicro.com].

    While on this line of thought, I would liken using Norton to wearing 8 condoms, all which having been poked with a needle, and Spybot Search & Destroy being the "Pull-Out" contraceptive method, and disconnecting from the internet altogether being like a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, we can't forget Live OneCare, which is like wrapping it with toilet paper, drinking a fifth of tequila, taking two viagras, and then wandering around Mexico City.

    What was my point again?
    • Where were you when I had mod points? ... that's not such a good question, is it.

    • STDs are a "feature not a bug" situation, a form population control.

      Diseases in general are a check on population. Not a "feature" though, at least in an evolutionary sense. Unless your population grows so big, it chokes it's own resources off and the whole population goes extinct, there's not much evolutionary advantage to limiting your numbers, at least not to the individual organism.

      On a cellular basis, something like population control has evolved, but that's because when one cell overpopulates (cancer) that dooms all the cells, your melanoma isn't going to hop ship a

    • > Perhaps in the eyes of ... evolution, STDs are a ... form population control

      Dude, in the eyes of evolution, EVERYTHING is potentially a form of population control. Hell, Gentoo Linux is a form of population control.

  • Here's an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vyse of Arcadia ( 1220278 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:19PM (#31682276)
    Howsabout people stop having unprotected sex with people with gonorrhea? I realize that people may lie about not having it or something similar, but one's policy should be use a rubber unless one is very, very certain it's safe.
    • Re:Here's an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:57PM (#31682636)

      A lot of people don't realize they have been sleeping with someone who has been sleeping with someone else.

      I can't even count the number of people I know that are cheating, or have been cheated on. And all these people will think they are all faithful and will not use a condom, but one of them will get something and pass it along to everyone else.

      My wife cheated on me once, but I was far more upset that she came back to me and didn't use a condom after god-knows-what the bitch did or didn't use with the other guy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That's a nice sentiment. Unfortunately there's a not too small contingent of people who believe that sex education = abstinence education leading to people who will have sex without proper protection.

    • by dmr001 ( 103373 )
      Oh hi. You don't have gonorrhea (again)? No? And we're using birth control pills? And we're married/together/have 3 children together/in high school so we don't think more than 3 hours into the future/are self-deluding evangelical Christians/don't really give a crap? And you would never sleep around on me? So it must be safe to have sex, then, right?

      Gonorrhea (and it's fellow-traveler) chlamydia deserve some credit here - they're good at what they do, and have been for thousands of years, and will probabl

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @11:34PM (#31682426)

    Clearly, the geeks shall inherit the Earth.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When I was a sexually active youth (back in the 60's and 70's) I managed to get the clap at least 3 times. The first time, I was in Mexico. I went to the pharmacy and got a lot of oral penicillin. Dosed myself with a couple of million units a day for a week or two. Bingo - cured. The next time, I was in the US and went to my family doctor. He prescribed some new "stronger" antibiotic for it. Guess what - it didn't work! I went back to the massive "beat it to death" penicillin doses and cured it post haste.
    • Technically ... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:06AM (#31685346) Homepage

      My philosophy when it comes to infections - hit them hard and don't let up until they are dead, dead, dead!

      Technically, the proper medical procedure is, indeed :
      - to use the lowest powerful antibiotic (if penicillin works, use it, damn !) and only if needed (most cold are caused by viruses and don't need any)
      - make it really, really, really clear to the patient, that he/she had to take the antibiotics all the way until the end of the cure, until all the bacteria are clearly and definitely dead. And not stop abruptly as soon as he/she feels better.

      That slows down the evolution of super-bugs.

      (and in addition to what you said :
      - most antibiotics kill all bacteria indiscriminately, not only bugs, but the normal flora : which perturbs some normal function and leave the place free for bad yeast to rush in. So always explain to the patient which food contain good probiotics to compensate (like some yogurts) and prescribe some probiotics too (usually some good yeast) )

      That's what we're taught in our medical education.
      The only problems comes into getting the correct choice of the lowest denomination antibiotics.
      - On one hand, hospitals have proven and tested recommendation (based on tests against resistance, etc.) And might even have some quick tests to predict resistance (so even when super bugs become prevalent, you can still detect which don't need the super-drug).
      - On the other hand, pharmaceutical companies have an agenda to push for newer (and still patented) drugs.

  • How is this news for nerds?

    Being nerd protects me quite well from such diseases. Is this some sort of appeal from non-nerds for our help?

  • Clearly the answer is to convert Humanity from a Sexual Species that reproduces via Sexual Mating, to one that is Asexual and reproduces via Asexual technology assisted Cloning.

  • What I saw in this article summary when I refreshed the front page:


    I thought this might be a joke...then I remembered I was on /.

Air is water with holes in it.