A new sexual health study carried out in the UK has highlighted the need to develop new treatments for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).
According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the common disease gonorrhoea is becoming increasingly resistant to many antibiotics.
This means it could become harder to treat using existing drugs - typically single doses of ceftriaxone and cefixime - in the future.
"Choosing an effective antibiotic can be a challenge because the organism that causes gonorrhoea is very versatile and develops resistance to antibiotics very quickly," explained HPA professor Catherine Ison.
She pointed out that ceftriaxone and cefixime are still very effective in treating the condition, although signs of resistance are emerging, which means new treatments or higher doses of the drugs may be necessary.
Gonorrhoea is most common among younger people. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions, including pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.