A new type of drug-resistant gonorrhea has appeared in Austria

Illustration of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

illustration Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
illustration: shutterstock (shutterstock)

The growth of super gonorrhea continuous continuation. European scientists say they have recently discovered a new strain of drug-resistant gonorrhea, the second strain found in the world in recent years. The bacterium was found in April in an Austrian man who caught it while traveling in Cambodia.

Neisseria gonorrhoeaename reason gonorrheais a particularly resistant bacterium. Over the decades, he learned how to overcome almost every antibiotic thrown against him. And now we are at the point where only two drugs are recommended for the treatment of these common infections, depending on the region: ceftriaxone and azithromycin.

Doctors in 2018 opened In the United Kingdom and New Zealand, three cases of gonorrhea were caused by a strain that was resistant to both drugs at the same time. These cases were observed before the trip to Southeast Asia and at least once the infection was not eliminated by affordable treatment.

Since then, countries have regularly reported azithromycin-resistant strains. And there are some countries, including the United States recommended Azithromycin is no longer used as a frontal treatment. However, many physicians may continue to treat patients with combination therapy and have symptoms increase ceftriaxone resistance and also. In the case report published Last month, in the journal Eurosurveillance, doctors discovered the first gonorrhea strain since 2018 that showed resistance to both drugs.

The case involved a man who went to the Austrian urology department in April 2022 after experiencing urinary incontinence and urethral discharge, a common symptom of gonorrhea. Five days ago, when he visited Cambodia, he had sex with a sex worker without using a condom. He was given ceftriaxone and azithromycin, and two weeks later his symptoms seemed to subside. However, laboratory tests showed that he was carrying a strain that was less resistant to ceftriaxone and more resistant to azithromycin, and tested positive for infection after treatment. He was given a second dose of another antibiotic and a week later tested negative for viable bacteria. Unfortunately, they were unable to perform a second PCR test to better confirm the success of the treatment.

Doctors were unable to contact the sex worker, who may still be infected, but they were able to genetically study the strain closely. They found that the new strain is very similar to the 2018 strain, but both are of the same lineage as Asia, but they do not seem to have a direct connection. And both strains seem to have learned to resist ceftriaxone by having the same mutation.

The authors of the report note that widespread drug-resistant gonorrhea is a global threat to public health. These infections may still be isolated, but they warn that “many cases of gonorrhea may go untreated” if this or similar strains become more prevalent. Many people with gonorrhea have no symptoms and, if left untreated, can develop life-threatening illnesses and pregnancy complications, including stillbirths and blindness.

One silver secret is that this strain was still sensitive to experimental antibiotics lefamulin and zoliflodacin, which are being tested in end-stage clinical trials on gonorrhea. Researchers are also working vaccines for gonorrhea. But so far, these options are still unrealistic, and more success is needed with the tools we have to prevent the microbe from becoming a nightmare that cannot be cured.

“Prevention of gout (including condom use), early and accurate diagnosis, and effective, affordable, and affordable treatment (ideally including gonorrhea cure and contact reporting and treatment) are essential,” the authors wrote. “At the national and international levels, especially in Asia, where ceftriaxone-resistant strains have emerged, enhanced monitoring of antimicrobial resistance, including cure and sequencing of the entire genome, is of paramount importance.”


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