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A new type of gonorrhea has appeared. He is incurable

Supergonorrhea, as the disease was nicknamed in the media, is not treatable with almost all antibiotics.

Supergonorrhea, as the disease was nicknamed in the media, is not treatable with almost all antibiotics.

A photo: Shutterstock

In Austria found a new type of gonorrhea, a dangerous infection that is sexually transmitted. Supergonorrhea, as the disease has been nicknamed in the media, is not treatable with almost all antibiotics, and this is the second such resistant strain.

Back in 2018, several cases of gonorrhea were recorded in the UK and New Zealand, which was extremely difficult to treat. They investigated and realized that the infection came to developed countries from the Asia-Pacific region. And so, in February 2022, super gonorrhea returned to UKand now appeared in Austria.

The patient said he probably contracted it in Cambodia, where he had unprotected sex with a prostitute. And although the cases are still isolated, the very fact that strains of the gonococcus bacteria circulate in the world that are difficult to treat, or even not amenable at all, is disappointing, because among the consequences of gonorrhea is a severe pregnancy, including stillbirth or blindness of newborns.

IS THIS GONORRHEA REALLY “SUPER”?

“Supergonorrhea”, as in the case of the terrible names of some modern diseases, is a play on words, believes Pavel Vorozheiki, doctor – dermatovenereologist of the Pirogov Center of the CDC “Arbatsky”. Gonorrhea itself is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium – gonococcus (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), the doctor told Komsomolskaya Pravda. What the media is now calling “supergonorrhea” is nothing more than gonococcus resistance to standard antibiotic treatments.

“Theoretically, yes, this could happen in the context of a coronavirus infection pandemic, when, with a complication in the form of pneumonia, that is, with the addition of a bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed for treatment,” says Pavel Vorozheikin. – The names of these antibiotics are now on everyone’s lips – this is azithromycin and ceftriaxone. However, according to European recommendations, gonorrhea is treated with the same antibiotics – ceftriaxone as the drug of first choice, and azithromycin as a possible alternative.

It turns out that if a person had gonorrhea, or if the infection occurred against the background of a cure for coronavirus, then with frequent contact of the bacterium with insufficient doses of the antibiotic, resistance to this drug develops, although this situation is rather a theory.

The very concept of “superinfection” in virology means a different situation. This is a condition where a second infection joins one.

– For example, there are strains of one virus, say, HIV. This means that when there is only one strain of the virus in the body, it will be sensitive to certain drugs, but when another strain of the virus is added to it during the next sexual contact, a superinfection will appear, and in such a combination one of the strains will be sensitive to certain drugs, and the other – no longer, – says the doctor.

HOW TO TREAT SUPERGONORRHEA?

There has been speculation online that a meningitis vaccine could cure antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea. However, as the doctor says, the causative agents of infection in gonorrhea and meningitis are different, so the meningitis vaccine against gonorrhea will not help protect against gonorrhea. But how then to be treated?

There has been speculation online that a meningitis vaccine could cure antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.

There has been speculation online that a meningitis vaccine could cure antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.

A photo: Shutterstock

– Let’s look at an example: a person comes to a doctor – a dermatovenereologist with some kind of purulent infection, – says Pavel Vorozheikin. – Let’s say he has multiple furunculosis, which worries him. For a month, two, three, he tries to be treated on his own with antibacterial creams, maybe even with pills, which is why the sensitivity of bacteria to the drugs that he uses on his own is lost. Therefore, the doctor, in order not to poke a finger in the sky, but to select antibiotics consciously, does a seeding of the contents, that is, examines what kind of infection it is, and then prescribes the antibiotic to which this strain has no resistance, according to the analysis. Therefore, in the case of the treatment of resistant gonococcal infection, it is worth taking a culture, as with standard diagnostics, and determining sensitivity to one or another antibiotic in order to choose the one that will work. I don’t see any difficulty in this.

PREVENTION MEASURES

While doctors and scientists are investigating where “super gonorrhea” came from and what to do about it, there are time-tested preventive measures:

1. Reasonable sexual life, which excludes casual sexual intercourse.

2. Use barrier methods of contraception – a condom.

3. Reasonable option: Before starting a joint sexual life, both partners are tested for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.

And do not forget that if this happens, it is better to consult a doctor who will provide qualified assistance and help avoid complications.

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