Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial STI in the UK, transmitted through unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex. People are often unaware they are carrying the disease as it doesn't present any symptoms, but left untreated can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
Public Health England (PHE) say it's the first global report of a strand resilient to standard antibiotics. The man, who has a partner in the UK, picked up the superbug after having sex with a women in South East Asia.
50% of men who have gonorrhoea will not have symptoms. It's really worth looking at people's sexual health history. There can be a nasty discharge but patients may not have symptoms #STIwebinar— Sexwise (@Sxwise) March 29, 2018
The strain of 'Neisseria gonorrhoeae' which is resistant to standard antibiotics was isolated after a heterosexual man visited a sexual health clinic in England. The man had a girlfriend in the UK but admitted having sex with a woman while on holiday in South East Asia a month before his symptoms started.
#supergonorrhoea was found in the #UK— Mike Lawrenchuk (@MikeLawrenchuk) March 28, 2018
Diseases out here trying to be Superheros in the future.
They out here fighting crime through painful discharges and sharp pains in the abdomen.#superheros #crime #diseases#stds #gonorrhea
"First line treatment for gonorrhoea is a combination of two antibiotics (azithromycin and ceftriaxone)", Dr. Gwenda Hughes head of the STI section at Public Health England said in a statement. "This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs and to most other commonly used antibiotics."
"It is better to avoid getting or passing on gonorrhoea in the first place and everyone can significantly reduce their risk by using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners," Dr Gwenda Hughes from PHE said.
It's feared this strain of the STI could eventually become resistant to any antibiotic, echoing previous warnings about resistance to antibiotics. Sexual infections consultant Peter Greenhouse told the Sun Online experts have been predicting this scenario for ten years, with dating apps making it easier for people to be promiscuous.
"It is harder to get a sexual health check up and people are changing sexual partners much more frequently thanks to dating apps like Tinder and Grindr," Mr. Greenhouse said.
"We have a perfect storm, just at a time when these infections are becoming seriously resistant to antibiotics." Mr. Greenhouse said.
Sexual health practitioners say severe cuts to England's public health budget has led to the closure of many sexual health clinics at the same time STI become more virulent.
Case of gonorrhoea resistant to ceftriaxone and to azithromycin following exposure in SE Asia.— Erica Pool (@erica_pool) March 28, 2018
Currently being treated with IV ertapenem — via @PHE_uk
Now is not the time for cuts to sexual health services #NHS #sexualhealthSOS https://t.co/ehpRNFkb3d
Double whammy: same day announcements of most highly multidrug resistant #gonorrhoea and closure of @BHSexHealth is not a good look https://t.co/iqIO1LmsNs @STI_BMJ @BASHH_UK @longitude_prize #AntimicrobialResistance— Nicola Low #FBPE (@nicolamlow) March 29, 2018
The super-gonorrhea patient has been treated with a different antibiotic known as ertapanem, he will have to wait a month to find out if it is successful. Doctors in England are being advised by PHE to refer any suspicious cases of gonorrhea to sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics.
GPs should refer all suspected cases of gonorrhoea to GUM services to prevent resistances emerging #STIwebinar— Sexwise (@Sxwise) March 29, 2018