Little-Known Infertility STD on Way to Becoming a Superbug


It's estimated that an MG infection exists in 1 to 2 percent of the population at the moment, with rates being slightly higher among women than men.

"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. Left unchecked, they say this could result in thousands of women each year at increased risk of infertility from pelvic inflammatory disease caused by MG. Once infected, it is typically treated using common antibiotics, such as doxycycline, pristinamycin, or minocycline.

The confusion and a lack of test kits means it is being treated with incorrect drug doses - building up antibiotic resistance which could see it soon become untreatable.

"Then out of the blue I got a UTI (urinary tract infection) and symptoms were exactly like MG".

A little known sexually transmitted infection could become the next superbug unless people become more vigilant, experts are warning.

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Doctors say an uncommon sexually transmitted disease, Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), which often has no symptoms may pose a great health risk if people aren't more cautious.

"This is not curing the infection and is causing antimicrobial resistance in MG patients", warned Paddy Horner, a sexual health expert from at Bristol University and one of the authors of new guidelines issued by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV or BASHH for the treatment and diagnosis of MG.

MG can be missed - and if it is not treated correctly, it can develop resistance to antibiotics.

"It's about time the public learned about Mycoplasma genitalium", Greenhouse said.

Its draft guidelines detail how best to spot and treat MG.

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Although tests for MG have been developed they are not now available at all clinics.

MG bacteria can spread through unprotected sex with someone infected by it and can be prevented by using condoms. But once a test became available, that changed; and now the test is widely used, and the disease is appropriately treated.

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

Dr Olwen Williams, president of BASHH, said more people need to be aware of the disease because of the impact it has on fertility.

"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.

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"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".