Wednesday, 12 December, 2018


This Little-Known STD Could Become The 'Next Superbug' Within A Decade

Patrick Sheandell O'Carroll via Getty Images Patrick Sheandell O'Carroll via Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 14 July, 2018, 20:08

In terms of screening, the guideline recommend testing for MG infection in people with non-gonococcal urethritis, symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, bleeding after sex, epididymitis and sexually-acquired proctitis.

Experts say a lack of test kits means it is regularly confused with chlamydia and treated with incorrect doses of antibiotics - building up risky antibiotic resistance which could see it soon become untreatable.

British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) have warned that the infection can undoubtedly lead to a public health emergency if left unchecked. It has been found in women with pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility. In men, the symptoms include include watery discharge from the penis. It is not known whether MG affects a man's fertility.

Schaffner noted that 30 years ago, there was no test for chlamydia and doctors did not treat the infection appropriately. The study said then that black men and men from "deprived" areas were more likely to carry the disease. It can also develop a resistance to antibiotics if not treated correctly on time.

Gynaecologist Peter Greenhouse said: 'It's yet another good reason to pack condoms for the summer holidays. Experts have warned that if it continues to become resistant to antibiotics, it can become a full-blown superbug causing infertility in more than 3,000 women.

Although tests for MG have been developed - carried out by swab or a urine sample - they are not now available at all clinics.

The best way to prevent MG, as with any STD, is to practice safe sexual health, including using condoms. "We both sensibly got tested and declared clean at the start of the relationship but GUM [genitourinary medicine] clinics don't test for MG, unless you have symptoms".

MG does not always cause symptoms and will not always need treatment, but it can be missed or mistaken for a different sexually transmitted infection, such as Chlamydia.

"So about a month into the relationship I developed the male symptoms - a sharp burning pain while urinating and a pus-like dishcharge from my urethra - but I had no idea what was wrong". New studies are continuing to look at some of the increased risks that come with having MG - including preterm birth, spontaneous abortion, cervicitis and PID. Macrolide resistance in the United Kingdom is estimated at about 40%, say the guidelines.

"MG is treated with antibiotics, but as until recently there has been no commercially available test it has often been misdiagnosed as Chlamydia and treated as such", said BASHH spokesperson Paddy Horner, who developed the guidelines.

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

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