The World Health Organization pointed to oral sex as the culprit behind the new strain of Gonorrhea that infects people in different parts of the world. The mistreatment of the gonorrhea bacteria left in the throat after a fellatio or cunnilingus caused the development of a new antibiotic-resistant strain.

As gonorrhea in the throat looks like strep throat, physicians usually prescribe standard antibiotics, but when mixed with bacteria, create gonorrhea resistant to antibiotics. It means there is no current medication on the market that can treat the mutant super-gonorrhea.

Ineffective treatment

There are two types of current antibiotics prescribed for gonorrhea patients.

These are azithromycin and ceftriaxone, but the two are becoming increasingly ineffective to treat the new strain of the sexually transmitted disease, The New York Daily News reported. Dr. Teodora Wi, a medical officer of WHO, explained the bacteria evolved to resist the antibiotics.

Gonorrhea can affect the throat, rectum, and genitals. Each year, about 820,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with this STD, making it the second-most commonly reported STD. People ate often infected with gonorrhea because the STD usually shows no symptoms, and people are often initially not aware they have been infected.

It is not spread only by sexual contact but also during birth, from mother to child. If the infection is not treated, gonorrhea causes burning when urinating, a discharge, inflammation, and in women, fertility problems.

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New drugs under development

While current treatments cannot treat the new strain of gonorrhea, there are new drugs under development. One drug, solithromycin, has completed a phase III trial. Two other drugs, zoliflodaci, and gepotidacin have undergone phase II trials. However, it could take a long time before these upcoming drugs will be ready to be prescribed to cure the new strain of the STD, the WHO said.

For now, the recommendation of doctors is to practice safe sex with a condom, communicating with the sex partner, undergoing tests, and abstaining from sex, if possible. Dr. Marc Sprenger, the director of Antimicrobial Resistance at the WHO, said new tools and systems for better prevention are needed for treatment, early diagnoses, and a complete reporting and tracking of new infections, antibiotic use, resistance, and treatment failures.

Sprenger added that as new antibiotics and rapid, accurate, point-of-care diagnostics tests are specifically needed to address the new strain of gonorrhea. The drugs and tests should be able to predict which antibiotics will work on a particular infection. For the longer term, Sprenger said that prevention of the STD is needed.