In draft guidelines published by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), researchers have warned to doctors and the public to look out for Mycoplasm Genitalium ( MG) which could become resistant to most antibiotics.
Symptoms of the bacteria include inflammation of the urethra in men, discharge from the penis and painful urination. In women, inflamed reproductive organs, pain and possible bleeding.
In the UK, it affects up to two per cent of the population, more common than gonorrhoea and in some areas, spreading faster than chlamydia.
“If practices do not change and the tests are not used, MG has the potential to become a superbug within a decade, resistant to standard antibiotics,” says Dr Paddy Horner, from the University of Bristol, who was involved in drafting the guidelines.
“Resources are urgently needed to ensure that diagnostic and antimicrobial resistance testing is available for women with the condition who are at high risk of infertility,” says Dr Horner. “We are asking the government directly to make this funding available to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiralling out of control.”
“It is deeply worrying that only one in 10 service commissioners have made provisions for MG given the very severe consequences of inappropriate management, particularly on young women of a child-bearing age," adds BASHH president Dr Olwen Williams.
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