Treating some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is becoming much harder as the microbial strains causing them are turning more resistant to antibiotics used to kill them.

Also Read: Bangladesh: Sahana Khatun is the first female to suffer from rare "tree man" syndrome

Gonorrhoea has now been termed a threat to the public by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the strain Neisseria gonorrhea has become resistant to antibiotics like penicillin and tetracycline, used to treat the sexually transmitted disease.

The CDC has tried spreading awareness among sexually-active people by asking those who have unprotected sex to get checked for this STD, even if they present no symptoms.

This disease is more commonly found in males under 25 years of age. Officials at the Jefferson County Department of Health have stated that they are currently using antibiotics to which the bacteria shows minimal resistance, according to

The report also revealed that the resistance of the drugs was analysed by tracing down the people from the west coast.

Gonorrhea, sexually transmitted disease, health,
Scanning electron micrograph of a single Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium, which causes the STD gonorrhea.Wiki Commons/ Dr Stephen Kraus

Researchers from the University of York have developed a new drug, however, that is likely to curb the disease. The research team was led by Professor Ian Fairlamb from the Department of Chemistry at the University of York.

"The carbon monoxide molecule targets the engine room, stopping the bacteria from respiring," Prof Fairlamb said, as reported by The Sun.

"We think our study is an important breakthrough. It isn't the final drug yet but it is pretty close to it," he said further.

Fairlamb explained that only one enzyme in the gonorrhoea-causing bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea needs to be hindered, which would result in the death of the microbe by preventing it from taking in oxygen.

Low concentrations of carbon monoxide were used by researchers and the microbe is sensitive to it, Fairlamb explained.

"We are looking at a molecule that can be released in a safe and controlled way to where it is needed," The Sun quoted him as saying.

In a majority of gonorrhoea cases, there no symptoms shown. Women sometimes experience pain and a burning sensation while urinating and a thin and runny discharge, usually yellow or green in colour. Other symptoms include pain in the abdomen, heavy periods, bleeding post intercourse 

In men, the symptoms include a burning sensation and pain during urination, discharge of white, green or yellow colour from the penis. Also, pain in the testicles and inflammation of foreskin can be experienced.