Oral sex can lead to antibiotic resistant super-gonorrhoea

In 2012, among women aged 15–49 years, the estimated global prevalence of chlamydia was 4.2% (95% uncertainty interval (UI): 3.7–4.7%), gonorrhoea 0.8% (0.6–1.0%), trichomoniasis 5.0% (4.0–6.4%), and syphilis 0.5% (0.4–0.6%); among men, estimated chlamydia prevalence was 2.7% (2.0–3.6%), gonorrhoea 0.6% (0.4–0.9%), trichomoniasis 0.6% (0.4–0.8%), and syphilis 0.48% (0.3–0.7%). These figures correspond to an estimated 131 million new cases of chlamydia (100–166 million), 78 million of gonorrhoea (53–110 million), 143 million of trichomoniasis (98–202 million), and 6 million of syphilis (4–8 million). Prevalence and incidence estimates varied by region and sex.

Oral sex is producing dangerous gonorrhoea and a decline in condom use is helping it to spread, the World Health Organization has said. Gonorrhoea can infect the genitals, rectum and throat, but it is the last that is most concerning health officials. Dr Wi said antibiotics could lead to bacteria in the back of the throat, including relatives of gonorrhoea, developing resistance.

She said: “When you use antibiotics to treat infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes with the Neisseria species in your throat and this results in resistance.”

Thrusting gonorrhoea bacteria into this environment through oral sex can lead to super-gonorrhoea.