A Little-Known STI Could Become The Next Dangerous Superbug, Doctors Warn


A study found a link between the bacteria and sex and concluded that it affected equally to both men and women and majorly associated with unsafe sex and an increased number of sexual partners.

"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. If left untreated, the bacteria may ascend through the cervix and lead to a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Schaffner said.

Treatment for MG involves a five-day course of antibiotics. But this treatment approach is a problem, because antibiotics for chlamydia don't work well for M. genitalium, and their use can promote antibiotic resistance.

Cash-strapped NHS services are misdiagnosing the MG infection because of a lack of testing kits which cost just £4 ($5.30) each, reports Mirror UK. It can be contracted by having unprotected sex with someone who has the disease.

The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) has produced its first guideline for the diagnosis of a little-known but common sexually transmitted infection (STI) called Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), to address concerns that MG has the potential to become a "superbug" within 10 years.

Mycoplasma genitalium is developing a resistance to antibiotics and can be missed if not diagnosed correctly, the BBC News reported. It also tells people how best to spot the disease.

Tests for MG have recently been developed but are not available in all clinics yet although doctors can send samples to Public Health England's laboratory to get a diagnostic result.

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The best way to prevent MG, as with any STD, is to practice safe sexual health, including using condoms.

"If you have symptoms of an STI, we recommend you get tested at your local sexual health clinic".

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.

Horner argued that these resources are "urgently" needed to ensure there is testing available for women who are at high risk of infertility.

"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".

"Everyone can protect themselves from STIs by consistently and correctly using condoms with new and casual partners", Dr. Helen Fifer, consultant microbiologist at Public Health England, said.