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Man with world's first recorded case of treatment-resistant super-gonorrhoea cured

Drugs that are normally effective in treating the disease didn’t initially work for this man.

Image: Alena Pl

A MAN IN the UK who caught the first recorded case of treatment-resistant super-gonorrhoea has been cured.

He is said to have picked up the disease after a sexual encounter with a woman in south-east Asia.

His case is the first time that the infection had been proven unable to cure using first choice antibiotics, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Symptoms are not always easily identifiable with gonorrhoea but can include a thick green or yellow discharge from sexual organs, and pain when urinating. It can lead to infertility and can be passed onto a child during pregnancy.

The main antibiotic treatment for gonorrhoea, a combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone, failed to treat the man’s case.

A detailed report of his infection, published today by PHE, suggested that one other antibiotic might work. He has since been successfully treated with ertapenem.

“We are pleased to report that the case of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea has been successfully treated,” Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) section at PHE, said.

Investigations have also revealed there has been no further spread of this infection within the UK, according to Hughes.

“PHE continues to actively monitor and tackle the spread of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhoea and potential treatment failures,” she said.

However, two similar cases have recently been reported in Australia, which Hughes said “serve as a timely reminder that we expect to see further cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea in the future”.

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“These cases will be challenging for healthcare professionals to manage,” she said.

PHE said that the best way to avoid getting or passing on gonorrhoea, or any other sexually transmitted disease, in the first place is to wear condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners.

Anyone who thinks they may be at risk is urged to seek an STI screen, it added.

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