The burden of gonorrhea in developing nations

Published on 04/03/2019

The global burden of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) to health and development is often overlooked as a public health priority. These infections, often silent and without symptoms, can result in serious or fatal health consequences.

Nearly 1 million people per day acquire a sexually transmitted infection [STI].  With the highest incidence in poor communities and countries, there are an estimated 357 million new cases of curable STIs every year. These infections, often silent and without symptoms, can result in serious or fatal health consequences. Left untreated, some STIs increase the risk of HIV transmission, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, fetal death and congenital infections.

Gonorrhoea has become one of the most insidious of STIs due to antibiotic resistance (AR) -- the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of all of the drugs used to treat them. This means the germs are not killed and they will continue to reproduce. N. gonorrhoeae (gonorrhoea), the bacterium that causes the sexually-transmitted disease gonorrhea, has developed resistance to nearly all the antibiotics used for gonorrhea treatment.  Incidence of N. gonorrhea has increased by 67% in the past 4 years. 

For World Health Day, we hope to heighten awareness that gonorrhoea is preventable and that regular screening for infection is imperative. Education and awareness will help overcome challenges to providing testing.  Although gonorrhea is often treatable with simple, inexpensive interventions – limited availability of screening, inaccurate diagnosis, lack of Point-of-care (POCT) tests for low resource settings, and the social stigma associated with STI are all challenges to providing care in our poorest communities 

Both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have determined that point-of-care diagnostic tests that are viable in settings with limited laboratory resources (POCTs) are critical.   

With a mission to address these needs, Biomed Diagnostics went into development mode to translate the successful concepts of InPouch® Trichomonas Vaginalis test, into an IVD concept for providing robust POCT diagnostic for gonorrhoea in low resource settings. The result, InTray GC® is now widely used in both field labs and hospital laboratory settings.  

Like InPouch TV, InTray GC, is an integrated diagnostic device that combines collection, transportation, incubation and result in one device that has extended shelf life. By creating its own anaerobic 5% C02 environment, the need for expensive incubators is eliminated. Thoughtfully designed for use points-of-care use and ease of detection, a study by the CDC concluded that it was superior for bacterial recovery, with minimal loss in viability, and lowering risk of contamination.  

To read the latest WHO Report on Global Sexually Transmitted Infection Surveillance, and Fact Sheets on N. Gonorrhoea, and learn more about InTray GC, click here ►.

Published in the following categories: CDC Clinical Education Infectious Disease NGO / Humanitarian STI WHO