Sexual health experts in Sheffield are recruiting patients to a major new study to test safe alternative antibiotics, which could be used to treat strains of gonorrhoea.
The team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are one of eight specialist sexual health centres across England involved in the study.
Over the past 30 years, strains of gonorrhoea have become increasingly resistant to antibiotic drugs, leaving patients with fewer and fewer treatment options.
During the study researchers are set to test an antibiotic, known as gentamicin, to see if this could be used to treat the sexually transmitted infection when the current antibiotic, ceftriaxone, is no longer effective.
Dr Christine Bowman, clinical director for communicable diseases and specialised medicine at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Resistance to the antibiotics we use to treat gonorrhoea is increasing, and we expect it may stop curing patients within the next few years.”
New data published by Public Health England revealed there was a 15 per cent increase in the number of new cases of gonorrhoea infections in 2013.