Four new sexually transmitted infections

Published At: 06 January 2020 , 09:32 AM

New diseases appear all the time, and sexually transmitted diseases are no exception.

We will tell you about four types of bacteria that are the causative agents of new dangerous STDs and pose a severe danger to human health.

1. Meningococcus

Bacteria Neisseria meningitidis cause meningococcal infection, which can lead to deadly damage to the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx, as well as the layers of the brain and spinal cord.

Earlier, the meningococcal infection was mainly associated with meningitis - inflammation of the lining of the brain, often with a fatal outcome.

However, now it is increasingly attributed to the urogenital type of infections.

In one study of the 1970s. the case of auto fellation in chimpanzees described - the transfer of meningococcal bacteria from the oral cavity to the penis.

5-10% of adults are carriers of infection. Typically, Neisseria meningitidis bacteria live in the nasopharynx of humans. Bacteria, doctors say, are transmitted during oral sex.

Outbreaks of the disease reported in Europe, Canada and the United States. As a rule, gays and bisexuals are carriers of the infection.

A close relative of Neisseria meningitidis is the causative agent of gonorrhoea - Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In 2015, the USA isolated the Neisseria strain, which is the result of the genetic recombination of the DNA of both bacteria. This type of infection caused outbreaks in several cities in the United States in 2015.

One study focuses on cases of urethra inflammation caused by a meningococcal bacterium. It was about a specific group of men. According to scientists, the infection transmitted during oral sex.

Scientists have determined that the DNA of the strain that caused the outbreak in several cities in the United States in 2015, was formed by genetic recombination with a similar infection - gonococcus, which causes gonorrhoea.

This strain characterized by increased contagiousness; that is, it spreads among people faster than others.

The five types of Neisseria meningitidis cause most cases of the disease worldwide. Fortunately, two vaccines against them work effectively against all five types of bacteria.

2. Mycoplasma genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium (Mycoplasma genitalium) is one of the smallest bacteria in size, but the disease it causes is one of the most dangerous sexually transmitted infections.

This bacterium became known in the 1980s. At the moment, its carriers are 1-2% of the world's inhabitants - mainly teenagers and young people.

Often the infection is asymptomatic, or the symptoms characteristic of gonorrhoea or chlamydia - inflammation of the cervix or urethra, may occur.

Since in women, this infection can provoke inflammation of the pelvic organs, the consequences of the disease can be quite severe - including infertility, miscarriage, premature birth and a frozen pregnancy.

Although condoms protect against this infection, doctors are concerned that the bacteria mycoplasma genitalium are actively developing resistance to antibiotics such as azithromycin and doxycycline.

"My concern is that this microorganism is becoming increasingly resistant [against antibiotics], and the infection is becoming more common," says Matthew Golden, director of the HIV and STD program in Seattle and King County.

Timely diagnosis and early treatment, scientists hope, will help prevent the conversion of Mycoplasma genitalium bacteria into a super bacterium.

3. Nigella Flexner

Shigellosis is a group of diseases caused by bacteria of the genus Shigella, with a faecal-oral transmission mechanism.

Shigella flexneri infection results in dysentery, which causes severe stomach cramps and bouts of diarrhoea mixed with blood and mucus.

It used to be that children and travellers travelling to developing countries were more prone to this disease.

However, since the 1970s. Cases of shigellosis increasingly recorded among gays and bisexuals.

According to scientists, in these cases, the bacterium is transmitted during anal and oral sex. With the advent of a new pathway for the spread of infection, outbreaks of the disease have been reported worldwide.

Demeter Daskalakis, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Health, said the sexually transmitted disease is also becoming resistant to antibiotics - including azithromycin, which also used to treat gonorrhoea.

Experts are concerned that the use of this antibiotic to treat various types of shigellosis can potentially lead to the appearance of a superb actor that causes gonorrhoea. Doctors have developed more sophisticated treatments for this STD without using antibiotics.

4. In venereal lymphogranuloma (VLH)

This disease caused by a rare strain of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, says Christopher Schissel, a physician at One Medical Clinic in San Francisco.

When infected, abscesses and ulcers in the genital area first appear, then the infection penetrates the human lymphatic system.

A disease can resemble an inflammatory bowel disease and lead to chronic and severe disruptions in its functioning - for example, to the formation of fistulas or narrowing of the intestines.

Over the past ten years, venereal lymphogranuloma has become a fairly common disease in Europe and North America. As a rule, the condition diagnosed in gays and bisexuals.

As in the case of chlamydia, this disease increases the risk of HIV infection.

According to doctors, the use of condoms reduces the risk of contracting this infection. Treatment of VLH involves taking antibiotics (e.g., doxycycline) for three weeks.