Gonorrhoea – An Ancient Infection Has Come Up with New Face

Recent news of finding case of a male patient with Gonorrhoea infection in the United Kingdom has stirred the medical world badly. The case is interesting because it has resisted to all types of first line treatment alternatives given to this male patient. The patient had a regular partner in the home country but he got infected in Southeast Asia where he got engaged in a sexual activity with a local woman.

The shocking incident has raised the question about the effectiveness of the existing first line treatment for gonorrhoea. Surely, we have a wide range of effective antibiotics to fight off with this bacterial infection but this new case which has come into the lime light has introduced new questions in front of scientists and the whole medical world –  Are we armed enough to treat this super resistant case of gonorrhoea?

What is Gonorrhoea?

It is a bacterial infection which happens to be one of the most commonly found sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. Approximately 78 million new cases are registered every year amongst which 30% cases show some kind of resistance to at least one antibiotic used in the treatment. This information is churned out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Gonorrhoea affects both the gender and the symptoms are prominent in genital areas, rectum and even in the throat. In women, the cervix also gets infected. Being an STD, needless to say, the infection spread during a sexual activity. But, it has been seen that babies can get infected during childbirth if mothers are positive for this infection. The tricky part is sometimes you don’t even know that you are infected because of the absence of symptoms.

Going back to the latest case of super-resistant case of gonorrhoea, the male patient was kept on two antibiotics  azithromycin and ceftriaxone. However, tests followed after the treatment showed positive results for the presence of the bacteria. Gwenda Hughes from the sexually transmitted infection section, Public Health England stated that this is the first case where both the antibiotics ‘failed’ to control the bacteria. The infection showed high-level resistance to these antibiotics which had been working with satisfactory results in the cases registered before.

Let’s learn the symptoms of gonorrhoea which will helps you understand when to start the treatment or what to look for to confirm the presence of this infection.

As mentioned above, symptoms are absent in most of the cases. Gonorrhoea affects the genital area but it can affect any body part as well.

Gonorrhoea symptoms when genitals are affected:

In men:

Pain during urination

Painful or swollen testicles

Pus-like discharge through sexual organ

In women:

Vaginal bleeding especially between the periods and after sexual activities

Painful urination

Pelvic pain

Painful sexual activity

Increase in vaginal secretion

When the infection affects other body parts, the symptoms are:

Eye pain

Signs of throat infection

Red, warm or swollen joints

Pus like discharge from rectum

Bleeding through rectum

If you find any of these signs or symptoms, you must go for gonorrhoea tests.

The man who had shown super-resistance to antibiotics used for Gonorrhoea treatment was asked for throat swab and it revealed presence of an infection. Then he was treated with ertapenem antibiotic through intravenous route and the primary tests have shown a ray of hope. The medicine seems to working for this guy and he will be tested again after a period of one month being on the current antibiotic.