Gonorrhoea 'may become untreatable'

 

Gonorrhoea may become "untreatable" as drug-resistant strains are spreading across Europe, health officials said.

Strains of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) have become more resistant to common treatments and are showing reduced susceptibility to newer antibiotics, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said.

Gonorrhoea, the second most common STI in Europe in 2010, is usually treated with the drug cefixime but an increasing number of patients have shown resistance to the antibiotic.

The proportion of cases with resistance rose from 4% in 2009 to 9% in 2010.

The drug-resistant strains are spreading fast around Europe. They were found in 17 European countries, seven more than the previous year.

In 2010, more than 32,000 cases were recorded across Europe, data from the Stokholm-based ECDC found.

Even though chlamydia was the most frequently reported STI, with almost 350,000 cases in the same period, the ECDC director singled out the gonorrhoea threat as a "critical situation".

Marc Sprenger said: "This indicates the risk that gonorrhoea may become an untreatable disease in the near future.

"Public health experts and clinicians need to be aware of the current critical situation and should be vigilant for treatment failures.

"The findings of the ECDC reports also imply that the European gonorrhoea treatment guidelines need to be reviewed."

He added: "Decreasing susceptibility to recommended antimicrobials and increasing numbers of treatment failures across Europe ask for careful monitoring of the European gonococcal population as the loss of the current recommended treatments could result in untreatable gonorrhoea.

"Only continued surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in gonococci will inform existing and future treatment guidelines adequately in order to ensure that patients are treated with effective drugs and morbidity is reduced in infected patients."

Gonorrhoea can infect areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix, uterus and egg canals in women as well as the urine canal in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus.

It is spread through vaginal, oral or anal sex.

If untreated, it can lead to severe secondary diseases, abortions and infertility. It also plays a role in facilitating HIV transmission.

PA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

    £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

    Recruitment Genius: Front End Developer / Web Designer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leader in the e-cigarette ...

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leader in the e-cigarette ...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future