The WHO has recently warned of the dangers of the rising number of antibiotic resistant. gonorrhea cases around the world. Current drugs are becoming less effective, and recent studies have shown than first-line antibiotics were ineffective in as many as two thirds of cases.
Prof Claudia Estcourt, a member of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV who said “We are markedly concerned about the rise in antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea in the UK. In a very short space of time, we have seen changes in the bacteria at an unprecedented rate, which means that many antibiotics which used to work are no longer effective. We are running out of options.
To add to these concerns, there are growing fears that a recent case of “super gonorrhea” in the UK could now be spreading globally. The initial antibiotics given to the patient were the usual combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone. The man was eventually treated, but only after three days of intravenous treatment with antibiotic ertapenem.
Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of PHE’s sexually transmitted infection section said: “We are pleased to report that the case of multi-drug-resistant gonorrhoea has been successfully treated. Investigations have also revealed there has been no further spread of this infection within the UK.”
However, two more cases, which are suspected to be of the same strain have now been reported in Australia. Dr Hughes said: “Two similar cases have just been reported in Australia and serve as a timely reminder that we expect to see further cases of multi-drug-resistant gonorrhoea in the future. These cases will be challenging for healthcare professionals to manage.”
Despite being treatable in most cases, gonorrhea is an infection that can lead to serious complications in patients including infertility, ectopic pregnancy and an increased risk of other infections like HIV. Dr Hughes noted: “We urge the public to avoid getting or passing on gonorrhoea by using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners,”