Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Rare STI could turn into superbug, doctors warn

Rare STI could turn into superbug, doctors warn
Celia Hoffman | 12 July, 2018, 01:58

Thousands of women could become infertile every year thanks to an increasingly risky sexually-transmitted infection spread by people having unsafe sex on holiday.

"MG is rapidly becoming the new superbug: it's increasingly resistant to most of the antibiotics we use to treat chlamydia and changes its pattern of resistance during treatment so it's like trying to hit a moving target", Dr Peter Greenhouse, sexual health consultant from the United Kingdom, said in a statement.

Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) often has no symptoms but can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can leave some women infertile.

Only recently has it been recognised that MG is passed on by sexual activity and can cause problems such as genital pain and bleeding.

The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) believes 3,000 women a year could lose the ability to have children if the STI becomes untreatable.

MG can be missed - and if it is not treated correctly, it can develop resistance to antibiotics.

More news: Trump administration announces $US200 billion in extra China tariffs

Its draft guidelines detail how best to spot and treat MG. The greatest outcome is for women with pelvic inflammatory disease caused by MG, which would be very hard to treat, putting them at increased risk of infertility'.

It's not a great time to be having unprotected sex. It's estimated that an MG infection exists in 1 to 2 percent of the population at the moment, with rates being slightly higher among women than men.

According to the experts, the disease can be mistaken for chlamydia and is more resistant to antibiotics.

BASHH recommends that MG is treated with a seven-day course of the antibiotic, doxycycline, followed by a course of azithromycin.

Dr Helen Fifer, consultant microbiologist at Public Health England, said: "The new BASHH guideline on MG is a positive step forward to improving testing and diagnosis".

Almost half of 16 to 24-year-olds admit they have had sex with a new partner without using a condom, a Public Health England report said in December.

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