Emerging sex disease MG 'could become next superbug'

13 July, 2018, 02:26 | Author: Sherman Richardson

Per the BBC, health officials in the United Kingdom have set new guidelines regarding the bacterial infection Mycoplasma genitalium, or MG, out of fear improper treatment could lead to antibiotic resistance.

Research by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) found that over 70 percent of sexual health experts said that if current practices do not change, MG will become resistant to first and second line antibiotics within a decade.

MG now affects one in 100 people and if untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which causes infertility. Men can experience discharge and inflammation of the urethra.

The infection was discovered in 1981 but very few people - even doctors - knew about it until recently.

Because symptoms of M. genitalium can resemble those of chlamydia, a more common STI, patients with M. genitalium are often treated with antibiotics for chlamydia, according to CNN. It has also drafted guidelines on how to spot the infection and treat it.

However, advanced tests to diagnose the disease are not available in all clinics in United Kingdom, as a result doctors have to send samples to Public Health England's laboratory to get a diagnostic result.

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Eradication rates of MG following treatment with one family of antibiotics, called macrolides, are decreasing globally.

MG is spread by having sex without a condom with an infected person.

Dr Peter Greenhouse, a sexual consultant in Bristol and BASHH member, told the BBC, "it's yet another good reason to pack the condoms for the summer holidays - and actually use them".

Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of Mycoplasma genitalium - although the organism is well-known to infectious disease specialists, the average doctor likely doesn't remember much about it after learning about it briefly in medical school, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

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

"We are asking the government directly to make this funding available to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiralling out of control".

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