Deep kissing may be neglected route for throat gonorrhea (drug-resistant)


EXCERPT: Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial STI in the UK after chlamydia. In 2017, more than 44,500 people were diagnosed with gonorrhoea in England, with most cases affecting young men and women under 25.

[...] Deep (tongue) kissing may be an important and neglected route for passing on throat (oropharyngeal) gonorrhoea among gay and bisexual men, suggests Australian research, published online in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. Strains of gonorrhoea that are resistant to antibiotics are becoming more common in many countries, sparking concerns that the infection will become increasingly difficult to treat.

[...] This is an observational study [survey], and as such, can't establish cause. It also concerned men at only one sexual health centre so the findings may not be applicable elsewhere. And it excluded other sexual practices which could have influenced infection risk.

But the importance of throat to throat transmission of gonorrhoea has been underestimated and neglected, suggest the researchers, who write: "Our results suggest kissing with or without sex may be a risk factor for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea."

Their study provides the first empiric evidence that this might be an important route of transmission, they say, and if confirmed by other studies, "would open up preventive options such as antibacterial mouthwash that do not rely on condoms." (MORE - details)

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