Gonorrhea - a sexually transmitted disease (STD) resulting from INFECTION with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. N. gonorrhoeae infects 350,000 Americans each year, though public health officials believe another 350,000 people have gonorrhea that goes undiagnosed because they do not know they are infected. Gonorrhea is highly contagious and passes among sexual partners through vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or oral sex. People who have multiple sex partners have increased risk for gonorrhea as well as other STDs. Gonorrhea is a public health concern of great magnitude worldwide because a number of strains of N. gonorrhoeae have become resistant to the ANTIBIOTIC MEDICATIONS used to treat the infection.
Gonorrhea has a 2- to 10-day INCUBATION PERIOD (time from exposure to symptoms) though often causes no symptoms, especially in women. Symptoms that do occur tend to be generalized and vague, such as lower abdominal discomfort, and go away in a few days to a week. When symptoms are present they typically include
Early symptoms will go away without treatment, though the infection remains. As the N. gonorrhoeae BACTERIA multiply in the body, they cause increasing irritation to the tissues, resulting in INFLAMMATION and the formation of SCAR tissue. In men the next level of infection with untreated gonorrhea is EPIDIDYMITIS, which causes swelling and pain in the TESTICLES, and URETHRITIS, which causes intense pain with urination. In women the next level of infection with untreated gonorrhea is PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (PID), which involves the UTERUS and FALLOPIAN TUBES. PID often causes severe ABDOMINAL PAIN. Scarring from the infection blocks the fallopian tubes, putting a woman at high risk for ECTOPIC PREGNANCY.
Diagnosis is laboratory examination of a sample of the discharge taken from the penis (men) or the CERVIX (women). A fast test done in the doctor’s office is highly accurate for men but not for women; for women, a conventional culture is the most reliable diagnostic procedure. The doctor likely will conduct diagnostic tests for other STDs as well, notably CHLAMYDIA and SYPHILIS. All sex partners should also undergo testing and receive treatment if they have gonorrhea, even if they do not have symptoms.
The current standard of treatment for gonorrhea is a single DOSE of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, which cures the infection in most people. However, new strains of N. gonorrhoeae are showing resistance to these antibiotics, causing doctors to look to combinations of antibiotics and to stronger antibiotics to cure the infection.
|ANTIBIOTIC MEDICATIONS TO TREAT GONORRHEA|
The debut of penicillin in the 1940s provided the first cure for gonorrhea. However, 30 years later, most strains of N. gonorrhoeae were resistant to penicillin and to tetracycline, the second-choice antibiotic. Doctors can no longer prescribe these antibiotics to treat gonorrhea. Though antibiotic medications remain the standard of treatment for gonorrhea, doctors and public health officials worry that the ability of N. gonorrhoeae to adapt will soon put gonorrhea out of reach for treatment. Researchers have recently unraveled the GENETIC CODE (DNA sequence) of the N. gonorrhoeae and are hopeful this advance will lead to new kinds of treatments.
Those who are at highest risk for gonorrhea and other STDs are
Monogamy (having only one sex partner) and consistent use of latex condoms are measures that can prevent N. gonorrhoeae infection. People who are sexually active should undergo regular testing for STDs. Reinfection can occur.
Resource: Facts On File Encyclopedia Of Health And Medicine
What is a virus - definition Virus - an infectious PATHOGEN that must invade a host cell to replicate, technically called an obligate intracellular PARASITE. A virus is a particle of living material that contains an inner core of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA), called the genome, encased in an outer shell of protein, called a capsid. Some viruses contain a
A VIRUS family that causes INFECTION of mucous membrane tissues throughout the body. Adenoviruses are responsible for a wide range of illness including upper respiratory infection, viral CONJUNCTIVITIS, GASTROENTERITIS, and URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI). These infections primarily affect children age 10 and younger. Infection with one adenovirus confers
A parasitic INFECTION of the gastrointestinal tract. The PARASITE responsible is Entamoeba histolytica, a single-cell organism (an ameba) that enters the body by drinking water or eating food that contains E. histolytica in cyst form. The cyst is a protective encasing within which the ameba may sustain itself in a dormant stage for weeks to months outside a
Antibiotic medications - Drugs that kill BACTERIA and certain other microorganisms. Antibiotic medications are the mainstay of treatment for bacterial INFECTION. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are capable of killing numerous types of bacteria; narrowspectrum antibiotics kill specific types or strains of bacteria. There are seven primary classifications of
Drugs that kill fungi (yeast). Antifungal medications are available for topical or systemic treatment. Some fungal infections require both. Antifungal medications work through various mechanisms to interfere with the ability of fungi to survive or reproduce. Broadspectrum antifungal medications are effective for treating a variety of fungal infections;
Antiviral medications - medications to shorten the course and lessen the severity of illness due to viral INFECTION as well as reduce viral shedding to minimize contagiousness. Some antiviral medications are able to prevent viral infection from developing after exposure to the VIRUS. Antiviral medications mark a fine line because they must destroy viruses
Anthrax (disease) - an illness resulting from INFECTION with the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is a naturally occurring infection among wild and domestic livestock (such as cows, sheep, goats, and antelope). Anthrax is rare in people in the United States, though more common in people who live, work, or travel to countries where anthrax is more
An illness that results from INFECTION with the parasitic protozoan Babesia microti. Most people who have babesiosis do not have symptoms; the infection causes illness primarily in people who are IMMUNOCOMPROMISED or who have had SPLENECTOMY (surgical removal of the SPLEEN). The bite of the Ixodes tick, found in the northeastern United States, is the mode
What is bacteria and definition of bacteria Bacteria - single-cell microorganisms (microbes). Bacteria are the most ancient and primitive life forms known, with fossils dating back more than 3 billion years. A bacterium’s structure is very simple, consisting of a rigid cell wall that supports and contains the cytoplasm, fragments of RNA, and a single
What is Botulism Botulism is a potentially life-threatening illness resulting from INFECTION with the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The BACTERIA are naturally present in soil, where they encase themselves in spores. In the body, the bacteria release a toxin that blocks the release of acetylcholine, a NEUROTRANSMITTER that facilitates NERVE