Mouth Action Spreads Untreatable Antibiotics-Resistant Gonorrhoea – WHO Warns

Mouth Action Spreads Untreatable Antibiotics-Resistant Gonorrhoea – WHO Warns, Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhoea
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Health News: At least three people in the world have reportedly been infected with gonorrhoea "superbug" which is untreatable and spreads through sex.

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed the cases as it gave details of studies into highly drug-resistant forms of the sexually-transmitted disease.

Experts warned it was "only a matter of time" before last-resort gonorrhoea antibiotics would be of no use.

Teodora Wi, a human reproduction specialist at the Geneva-based UN health agency, said: "Gonorrhoea is a very smart bug.

"Every time you introduce a new type of antibiotic to treat it, this bug develops resistance to it."

The WHO estimates 78 million people a year get gonorrhoea - and STD contracted via the genitals, rectum and throat.

The infection, which in many cases has no symptoms on its own, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility, as well as increasing the risk of getting HIV.

Wi, who gave details in a telephone briefing of two studies on gonorrhoea published in the journal PLOS Medicine, said one had documented three specific cases - one each in Japan, France and Spain - of patients with strains of gonorrhoea against which no known antibiotic is effective.

Manica Balasegaram, director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, said the situation was "grim" and there was a "pressing need" for new medicines.

The pipeline, however, is very thin, with only three potential new gonorrhoea drugs in development and no guarantee any will prove effective in final-stage trials, he said.

"We urgently need to seize the opportunities we have to existing drugs and candidates in the pipeline," he told reporters.

"Any new treatment developed should be accessible to everyone who needs it, while ensuring it is used appropriately so that drug resistance is slowed as much as possible."

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What are the causes of Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus.

It is mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal fluid and can easily pass between people through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex.

Two-thirds of the countries that report resistance data to the WHO have seen cases in recent years in which their antibiotics of last resort no longer worked against gonococci bacteria.

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The UN health agency estimates that 78 million people are infected annually with the disease

Britain and the U.S. reported increases of more than 10 percent in 2015. Cases among gay men in France doubled between 2013 and 2015.

Rates are highest in the African region, where one in 10 men is infected annually.

The main reasons were stated to be the increase in decreasing condom use, increased mobility as well as poor disease monitoring and inadequate treatment, according to the WHO.

Which parts of the body do gonorrhoea affects?

Gonorrhoea can infect the genitals, rectum and throat. It can lead to inflammation of the pelvis and to infertility.

Currently, only three new drugs are being developed, because pharmaceutical companies know that the bacteria will soon become resistant to any new antibiotic.

To control gonorrhoea, doctors not only need new medicines but also a rapid diagnostic tool and a vaccine, which are yet to be developed, WHO Antimicrobial expert, Marc Sprenger said.

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