A man in the UK has contracted the first ever case of untreatable 'super-gonorrhea' after an encounter with a woman in south-east Asia

  • A man has contracted the UK's first ever case of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.
  • He got the STD after a sexual encounter with a woman in south-east Asia, according to Public Health England.
  • All the regular treatments failed to get rid of the disease.
  • He had a regular female partner in the UK, but she didn't catch it.


The first ever case of untreatable super-gonorrhea has been reported in the UK.

A man contracted the sexually-transmitted disease, believed to be the first case in the world to resist antibiotic treatment, after "sexual contact" with a woman in south-east Asia.

The anonymous man's case was described in a report published Thursday by Public Health England.

He visited a health clinic for treatment earlier this year, but the antibiotics azithromycin and ceftriaxone both failed to get rid of the disease.

PHE said he had a "regular female partner in the UK," but that she tested negative.

Last year the World Health Organization warned that cases of the antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea are on the rise due to unsafe oral sex and a decline in condom use.

Data from 77 countries showed that when someone contracts the common sexually-transmitted infection — which infects roughly 78 million people each year — it is now "much harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat," according to the WHO, because the infection is rapidly developing a resistance to antibiotics.

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The deadliest infectious diseases in modern history

HIV/AIDS: as of 2012, roughly 36 million deaths worldwide since discovery; 1.3 million deaths in 2013 alone

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Tuberculosis: caused between 1.3 and 1.5 million deaths in 2013

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Malaria: up to 855,000 deaths in 2013

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Pneumonia: results in approx. 4 million deaths per year

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Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease: 100% fatal

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Middle East respiratory syndrome: 41% fatal

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Rabies: up to 100% fatal if left untreated

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Of the new case, Dr Gwenda Hughes, the head of PHE’s STI section, said: "We are investigating a case who has gonorrhea which was acquired abroad and is very resistant to the recommended first line treatment.

"This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs and to most other commonly used antibiotics."

Health officials are now trying to trace the man's previous sexual partners to "try to contain the spread."

Gonorrhea is spread by unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex. It can infect the genitals, rectum, and throat, and can lead to infertility if left untreated.

According to the BBC, the outlook is "fairly grim" in regards to the new stream of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, with only three new candidate drugs "in various stages of clinical development." 

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SEE ALSO: Unsafe oral sex is causing a rise in cases of untreatable 'super-gonorrhea'

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