A British man has been diagnosed with a highly resistant case of gonorrhoea after sexual contact with a woman in Southeast Asia, the health agency Public Health of England (PEH) said on Thursday (Mar 29).
The bacteria turned out to be resistant to the standard antibiotics for gonorrhea, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, and was susceptible only to spectinomycin.
"We are investigating a case who has gonorrhoea which was acquired overseas and is very resistant to the recommended first line treatment", Dr Gwenda Hughes, the head of PHE's STI section said.
The research may also provide information as to how other bacteria evade the immune system and be unaffected by antibiotics.
He will be tested again in April. Irrespective of a person's sexuality, he or she should get checked for gonorrhoea every year.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that people and their sexual partners use prophylactics and undergo regular STD screenings to monitor for infections. Wellbeing authorities are now following some other sexual accomplices of the man, who has not been recognized, trying to contain the disease's spread.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection commonly contracted by engaging in unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, or sharing sex toys. In the US, CDC estimates place the number of new infections at around 820,000 countrywide per year.
Doctors have become increasingly anxious about diseases showing resistance to treatment with antibiotics.
But symptoms can include a thick green or yellow discharge from sexual organs, pain when urinating and bleeding between periods.
Dr. Hughes further added that they are following up the case in order to ensure that the infection was treated effectively with other options and the risk of any onward transmission is lessened. If untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, as well as an increased risk of contracting HIV.
Each year, drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 23,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This report is one more confirmation of our greatest fear: drug-resistant gonorrhea spreading around the globe", said David Harvey, who is the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD).