What Is Super Gonorrhea? First Ever Case Cured With Last Possible Antibiotic, Serves As a Wakeup Call to All

The world’s first confirmed case of "super-gonorrhea” has been cured, a statement from Public Health England said on Friday. The patient's sexually transmitted infection first came to light in March after doctors noted it was resistant to multiple types of antibiotics. However, the statement reported that ertapenem, the last possible antibiotic available, was effective in curing the infection.

The case was the first time that a gonorrhea infection was not cured with the first choice antibiotics, BBC News reported. Doctors feared the infection may have developed a resistance to all known antibiotic treatments and be incurable. Although this turned out to be false, Dr. Olwen Williams, the president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, emphasized that the case was a “major wakeup call for everybody,” BBC News reported. In addition, doctors warned that cases of super-gonorrhea may become more common in the future.

04_20_condoms Condoms can greatly reduce risk of contracting an STI such as gonorrhea. A man hold condoms. Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Related: ‘Super Gonorrhea’ Spreading As Australians Diagnosed With STD Resistant To All Antibiotics Treatments

The U.K. patient believed he picked up the infection after having unprotected sex with a woman in southeast Asia. Two additional cases of super-gonorrhea resistant to all routine antibiotics were reported in Australia this week. Those cases were also traced back to southeast Asia.

However, individuals who have unprotected sex “anywhere in the world” should get tested before having sex with additional partners, Williams told BBC News.

Related: What Is Super Gonorrhea? Man Has First-Ever Case Of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbug

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by an infection of the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. If left untreated, gonorrhea can have serious health implications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

This infection is usually treated with a combination of the antibiotics theazithromycin and ceftriaxone. However, super gonorrhea is resistant to these antibiotics. Although this case was cured by the last choice antibiotic, doctors fear that at one point the infection may become untreatable by any drugs.

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