'World's worst' super-gonorrhea case sparks drug worry

'World's worst' super-gonorrhea case sparks drug worry

A British man has contracted the world's first and worst "super gonorrhoea" a sexually transmitted infection (STI) after returning from South East Asia.

Dr Hughes said, 'We are following up this case to ensure that the infection was effectively treated with other options and the risk of any onward transmission is minimised'.

The Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium has progressively developed antibiotic resistance over time, to the point where the WHO now consider it to be a "high priority" pathogen requiring the development of new antibiotics and widespread public health education and prevention efforts.

Public Health England said the man is infected with a form of the bacteria that is completely resistant to the first line of treatment used against it - a combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone.

On a global scale, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that almost 78 million people are infected with gonorrhea each year.

Hughes said the United Kingdom case is being followed up on to ensure the infection is treated correctly and the risk of transmission minimized.

If left untreated, it can spread to joints or heart valves.

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Symptoms of the nasty infection include a burning sensation when urinating and unusual discharge from the penis or vagina. To improve his condition, he has been given a third antibiotic called ertapenem.

The WHO last year announced its first list of antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens", detailing 12 families of bacteria that agency experts said posed the greatest threat to human health and kill millions of people every year.

A more thorough analysis of the Briton's gonorrhea infection suggests that another antibiotic could work. If it is not treated in the early stages, it can lead to ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory, and increase the risk of contracting HIV.

Dr Richard Stabler, an associate professor in molecular bacteriology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, warned the new case of super gonorrhoea was "worrying" because 'there isn't really an obvious next set of drugs we would move to. It was not reported whether the Asian woman already had the super gonorrhea, or if it only mutated inside the man.

Doctors have become increasingly anxious about diseases showing resistance to treatment with antibiotics.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection, or STI.

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