Super Gonorrhea: Study was conducted on sex workers, Ministry of Health says
Acting Director General at the Ministry of Health Dr Patrick Amoth has allied fears of the super gonorrhea infection which was reported in Kenya last week by researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).
According to Dr Amoth, the report on super gonorrhea infection was from a study conducted on sex workers where out of 400 samples tested, one case was found to be resistant to nearly all antibiotics it was put through.
“This report came from a study that was conducted by Kemri among commercial sex workers and out of the pathogens they looked at was Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the organism that causes gonorrhoea. Out of that there were quite a number of pathogens that were resistant to ordinary antibiotics and in one particular individual, out of a sample of 400, was one that was resistant to nearly all the antibiotics we put it through,” he told Citizen TV on Tuesday night.
According to the researchers, the new strain is common among female sex workers in Nairobi.
Over 350 sex workers from one clinic in Nairobi, which reported high cases of gonorrhoea, took part in the study carried out by the researchers.
According to the research, three-quarters of the participants admitted to having unprotected sex with their partners and clients – as it pays more.
In their report, the researchers said that some of the sex workers slept with at least 29 clients in two weeks without protection.
Misinformation has been blamed for the situation with some sex workers were ignoring condom use.
The researchers want the Kenyan government to conduct more tests to determine how widespread the new strain is in the country.
Dr Amoth pointed out that the samples used in the study that confirmed the super gonorrhea case in Kenya was old data but noted that Kemri was currently conducting a deeper review and analysis to establish the spread and span of the said strain of gonorrhea.
Gonorrhoea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases globally. More than 80 million cases are reported globally every year.
Super gonorrhea is a strain of the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae that has developed resistance to antibiotics commonly used to treat the infection.
This strain of the bacteria has an enzyme called antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) that can neutralize antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated it as a “priority pathogen” due to the increasing resistance to antibiotics.
Symptoms of super gonorrhea include a burning sensation during urination, discharge from the genitals, and pain in the lower abdomen. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all.
If left untreated, super gonorrhea can lead to serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and even sepsis.
The best way to prevent the spread of super gonorrhea is through the use of condoms during sex and regular testing.