New guidelines by WHO for treatment of STIs

Strains of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea that do not respond to any available antibiotics have been detected, World Health Organisation (WHO) said , as it urged national health authorities for updating their treatment for this common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

shreerupa

Shreerupa Mitra-Jha | September 1, 2016 | New Delhi


#antibiotics   #gonorrhoea   #WHO   #STIs  


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued new guidelines for the treatment of three common STIs - chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis - as they are becoming more and more resistant to known treatments due to the over use and misuse of antibiotics. 

Gonorrhoea, that affects the genitals, rectum, and throat, has developed the strongest resistance of the three STIs with older antibiotics failing to treat the infection. WHO has directed countries not to use quinolones (a class of antibiotic) that has become resistant due to widespread use. The UN health agency has not prescribed any class of antibiotic leaving it to national authorities to track and understand local strains and advise doctors whichever pattern would be the most productive. 
 
The new WHO guideline, on the other hand, “strongly recommends” a single dose of benzathine penicillin - an intramuscular injection of antibiotics -which is more effective than oral doses to cure syphilis. 
 
Syphilis is spread by contact with a sore on the genitals, anus, rectum, lips or mouth, or from mother to child during pregnancy that caused an estimated 1,43,000 stillbirths, 62,000 neonatal deaths and 44,000 low-birth-weight babies globally in 2012. 
 
Benzathine penicillin is an essential medicine that has been in short supply for several years.
 
Chlamydia is the most common type of infection that usually occurs with gonorrhea. 
 
There are three new strategies that the WHO recommends: new guidelines for gonorrhea treatment, elimination of mother to child transmission of syphilis, and increasing the coverage of HPV and Hepatitis-B vaccine. 
 
The last guidelines were issued by WHO in 2003. 
 
STIs represent a very large burden not only in terms of the infection but also the consequences of the infections. In 2014, it was a staggering 1 million new cases of infection everyday, which is a total 357 million new cases of these curable infections. 
 
It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.
 
It affects people across age-groups and gender and is particularly harmful for infants – there is a high possibility that infants will be still born if the mother has an untreated STI. It is also the cause of cervical cancer and increases the probability of contracting HIV by two to three times. 
 
The new WHO guidelines reinforce the need to treat these STIs with the right antibiotic, at the right dose, and the right time to reduce their spread and improve sexual and reproductive health. To do that, national health services need to monitor the patterns of antibiotic resistance in these infections within their countries,” said Ian Askew, director of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO in a press statement.
 
The new guidelines recommended in the in the Global Health Sector Strategy for STIs (2016-2021) were endorsed by governments at the World Health Assembly in May 2016.
 

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