Four Genital Infections You Didn't Know About

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Four Genital Infections You Didn't Know About
Four Genital Infections You Didn't Know About

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Four genital infections you didn't know about

New diseases are emerging all the time, and sexually transmitted infections are no exception. Here are four bacteria that pose a major public health threat.

Four genital infections you didn't know about
Four genital infections you didn't know about

Photo: pixabay.com /

New diseases are emerging all the time, and sexually transmitted infections are no exception. Here are four bacteria that pose a major public health threat.

1. Neisseria meningitidis (Meningococcus) can cause invasive meningitis, a potentially fatal infection of the protective membranes in the brain and spinal cord.

Increasingly, it becomes the cause of urogenital infections. In about 5-10% of adults, N. meningitidis lives on the back of the nose and throat. Research shows that they can potentially transmit bacteria to partners through oral sex and deep kissing.

It is not yet completely certain which of the transmission routes caused outbreaks of invasive forms of the disease among homosexual and bisexual men in Europe, Canada and the United States. However, a study of N. meningitidis urethritis in a group of heterosexual (except one) men showed that oral sex was the cause of infection.

Scientists have determined that the strain that hit several cities in the United States in 2015 acquired DNA through genetic recombination with its close relative, which causes gonorrhea (N. gonorrhoeae). This mutation has contributed to the widespread spread of STIs.

2. Mycoplasma genitalium (Mycoplasma genitalium) - one of the smallest known bacteria, identified in the 1980s. It is especially common among adolescents and young people, and infects approximately 1-2% of people.

M. genitalium infection is often asymptomatic, but can mimic chlamydia or gonorrhea with persistent irritation of the urethra and cervix. It causes pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to disorders in the female reproductive system - infertility, miscarriages, premature birth and stillbirth. Using condoms will help prevent infection.

The researchers noted the growing resistance of M. genitalium to antibiotic treatments such as azithromycin and doxycycline.

3. Shigella flexneri (Shigella Flexner). Shigellosis (or dysentery) is transmitted through direct or indirect contact with human feces. The infection causes severe stomach cramps and violent bouts of diarrhea with blood and mucus, which encourages the spread of bacteria.

Although the disease is most commonly associated with young children and travelers, in some low- and middle-income countries in the 1970s, researchers began documenting cases of shigellosis in homosexual and bisexual men. According to scientists, S. flexneri is transmitted by the anal-oral route and has led to numerous outbreaks of STIs around the world.

Demetre Daskalakis, Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, speaks of the rapidly emerging azithromycin resistance of S. flexneri.

4. Chlamydia trachomatis. Atypical strains of this bacterium cause Lymphogranuloma venereum, which is a "terrible infection," according to Christopher Schiessl, a physician at One Medical Clinic in San Francisco.

First, a genital pimple, abscess or ulcer forms, and then the infection enters the body's lymphatic system. Rectal infection can mimic inflammatory bowel disease, leading to chronic and severe lesions of the colon and rectum (fistulas and strictures).

Over the past decade, there have been numerous outbreaks of disease in Europe and North America, especially among gay and bisexual men. In addition, lymphogranuloma can increase the risk of contracting HIV.

You can protect yourself from this infection with condoms. Treatment is based on a three-week course of antibiotics (doxycycline).

Based on materials from Mosaic.

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