Oral sex feeding spread of super gonorrhoea

July 10, 2017

Persons who perform oral sex are at risk of being affected by an antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), data from 77 countries show that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhoea - a common sexually transmitted infection - much harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat.

"The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them," said Dr Teodora Wi, medical officer, human reproduction, at the WHO.

The WHO reports widespread resistance to older and cheaper antibiotics. Some countries - particularly high-income ones, where surveillance is best - are finding cases of the infection that are untreatable by all known antibiotics.

"These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg, since systems to diagnose and report untreatable infections are lacking in lower-income countries where gonorrhoea is actually more common," adds Dr Wi.

About 78 million people catch gonorrhea every year but the new antibiotic-resistant strain is developed through a mistreatment of gonorrhoea bacteria left in the throat after oral sex. Gonorrhea in the throat often looks like strep throat, so doctors prescribe standard antibiotics, which then mix with the bacteria, creating antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea.

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