WHO New Treatment Guidelines for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis

The World Health Organization (WHO) on 30th Aug released new therapy guidelines for 3 sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis), stating the updates respond to an “urgent need” in light of improving antimicrobial resistance.

Ian Askew, director of reproductive health and research at WHO said,

“Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are main public health issues globally, impacting large numbers of peoples’ quality lifestyle, causing severe illness and often death. The new WHO guidelines strengthen the need to treat these STIs with the appropriate antibiotic, at the appropriate dose, and the right time to decrease their spread and enhance sexual and reproductive health.”

With respect to WHO, the 3 bacteria cause over 200 million infections every year, and increasing resistance has made them more complicated or impossible to treat with current antibiotics. Of the 3 infections, WHO states that, gonorrhea is the very challenging to treat, with some strains now resistant to all accessible antibiotics.

When drawing the guidelines, WHO states it looked for therapies that provided high efficacy and quality while paying attention to cost, toxicity, route of administration, along with the likelihood for resistance to the therapies developing.

Furthermore to revamping its therapy recommendations, WHO says that individual health systems should boost surveillance for the infections, and urges nations to quickly follow the new guidelines.

For gonorrhea, WHO states that surveillance is particularly significant, and calls on nations to use data on local patterns of resistance to steer selection of the very effective therapy. WHO also  says it no more suggests treating gonorrhea with quinolones “because of widespread high levels of resistance.”

For syphilis, WHO states that it now suggests using a single injection of benzathine penicillin, which “is more efficient and less expensive than oral antibiotics.” However, regardless of being added to WHO’s essential medicines list last May, the WHO alerts that the shortages of the drug have been claimed in three areas due to “issues with production … lack of consistent requirement, and a reduce in indications for use and its comparatively low price.”

For chlamydia, the very common of the 3 infections, WHO is conditionally suggesting a number of antibiotic regimens, leaning heavily on dual therapies including azithromycin and a second antibiotic, like as erythromycin or doxycycline as first-line treatments for most sufferers, with particular recommendations for pregnant women and infants.