Britons have been warned that the sexually-transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea could soon become resistant to drugs.
The claim came from Health Protection Agency official Professor Catherine Ison, who said that a new strain of the infection may be detected soon.
She called on the medical world to work together to address the issue, adding that treating gonorrhoea in the future may involve multiple rather than single doses of antibiotics.
Gonorrhoea is currently the second most common STI in Britain. If left untreated, the infection can result in inflammation of the reproductive organs.
In turn, this can lead to infertility in women or lead them to suffer ectopic pregnancies.
“The current drugs of choice, ceftriaxone and cefixime, are still very effective but there are signs that resistance, particularly to cefixime, is emerging and soon these drugs may not be a good choice,” Professor Ison said.
“If this problem isn’t addressed then there is a real possibility that gonorrhoea will become a very difficult infection to treat.”