First Global Case of Super Gonorrhoea Found in Britain

Neisseria gonorrhoeae the bacterium that causes super-gonorrhea

The "super gonorrhea" was reported in the U.K. Tuesday via a statement by Public Health England, which noted that a British man had contracted a "super" strain while traveling overseas. "Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them", Teodora Wi, a human reproduction specialist at the World Health Organization, said past year.

According to Dr. Gwenda Hughes of Public Health England, "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".

Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a combination of the antibiotics azithromycin and ceftriaxone, but this time round the treatment has not been successful. He is now receiving daily injections of another antibiotic called ertapenem and is scheduled to be tested again by mid-April. So far, no other cases of super gonorrhea have been reported.

The man attended sexual health services this year and was found to be infected with a form of the bacteria that is completely resistant to the first line of treatment used against it.

He will be tested again in April.

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An incident management team has been created to coordinate the investigation and contain the potential spread of the disease. Each year, there are an estimated 78 million new infections of gonorrhea.

Meanwhile, a test on the patient's partner in the United Kingdom came out negative. There is a real fear that eventually the disease will move beyond antibiotic treatment altogether and pose a much greater health risk than it already does.

Medical experts warn that when the condition is not treated, it can sometimes lead to infertility in both men and women, other infections throughout the body, as well as an increased risk of HIV/AIDS.

But a "super" version of the STI, which is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium, swept across Britain two years ago, striking London, the South East and the Midlands. Women can have no symptoms at all or pain and burning while urinating, vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Massive research efforts have led to an effective vaccine against the disease - but at the time of writing this, we're still very far away from a fail-proof vaccine; now, it only reduces the disease's incidence by 31%, one in every three cases.

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