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Wash your mouth out!

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Wash your mouth out!

Dr Denton Callandar from The Kirby Institute & research partner with SWOPmale gives some facts on mouthwash & gonorrhea transmission and anti-biotic resistance & gonorrhea clearance. in this ABC Radio article

When you hear the word 'gonorrhoea', it probably conjures up all sorts of unpleasant images, maybe illustrations from your year 10 sex ed class, or photographs on a Wikipedia page you were unlucky enough to stumble upon. In spite of his less than stellar reputation among lovers the world around, gonorrhoea deserves, at least in part, our respect, if not for its perseverance alone. It's one of the oldest known infections in human history, dating back as far as the Old Testament of the Bible. We been lucky to live in a time where gonorrhoea has been easily managed through antibiotics. That was until last week when scientists with the World Health Organisation reported several new strains of the bacteria that were resistant to every currently available treatment.

Now, resistance to antibiotics for gonorrhoea isn't actually something new. In fact, gonorrhoea bacteria that exists in Australia today is already resistant to a number of antibiotics. What is new is that for the first time we've encountered strains resistant to all treatments. This is actually quite chilling reality, and it forces us to confront what a future without antibiotics to treat gonorrhoea might look like. This type of pan-resistance hasn't yet reached Australian shores, and today if you're diagnosed with gonorrhoea your doctor will likely give you two different types of antibiotics that still work really well. It's a nuclear option in bacterial warfare, it's about hitting the bugs hard to kill them all at once, because if any survive, that's how resistance develops over time.

Fears about resistance aside, Australia is definitely facing a growing number of gonorrhoea cases every single year. With a vaccine still at least a decade away, public health officials and scientists are working hard to come up with innovative strategies for managing this persistent STI.

Promisingly, researchers from Monash University and the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre have made some fascinating new discoveries about mouthwash and gonorrhoea of the throat. I sat down with the Centre's director, Professor Christopher Fairley, to talk about this exciting new research and why gonorrhoea has increased so much in recent decades.

More of this interview at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/wash-your-mouth-out!/8715788#transcript