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New Gonorrhea Strain in Australia Resistant to Antibiotics.

A new strain of gonorrhoea has been found to be antibiotic-resistant in Australia. The strain of the sexually transmitted disease, known as the A8806, was first detected in a European woman who was travelling to Australia in 2013. The woman had herself checked in a sexual health clinic because she noticed she had vaginal discharge. After undergoing a test, she was diagnosed with gonorrhoea.

According to reports, the woman had sexual intercourse with a new partner who was also from Europe. Researchers have become concerned about this particular case because they do not know the extent or frequency of the new gonorrhoea strain. David Whiley, an infectious disease expert at the Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, had written the report with fellow researchers. The report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 6.

In a report by ( Live Science , Whiley said that Australia has a "very good gonorrhoea surveillance" compared to other countries. He believes it is more than likely that Australian researchers were able to discover the new strain. He and his colleagues are concerned of the strain spreading outside of Australia. However, Whiley said they have yet to find another case.

Based on the researchers' analysis of the bacteria that infected the European woman, the new gonorrhoea strain was resistant to penicillin, ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. The A8806 strain shares some genetic similarities with H041, another antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea discovered in 2009 in a Japanese sex worker.

Previous reports have indicated that gonorrhoea has become increasingly resistant to drugs in the last 30 years that left doctors only a few options to treat it. Before the new strain in 2013 was discovered, ceftriaxone was the only drug effective enough to treat gonorrhoea. However, Whiley said the antibiotic is no longer working on the new strain but it doesn't mean that the drugs will not work on people who will get infected with the same strain.

In the case of the European woman, she was injected with ceftriaxone and took an oral dose of azithromycin. Whiley believes the azithromycin had appeared to be the key in the woman's successful treatment.

Whiley told Live Science that their findings should be considered a "warning shot" that signalled ceftriaxone's reign as a successful treatment for gonorrhoea. He explained that it is generally not long before drug-resistant strains of gonorrhoea become widespread.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 8, 2014
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