The unidentified man picked up the superbug earlier this year and health officials are trying to track down his other sexual partners in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.
"This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs and to most other commonly used antibiotics", said Gwenda Hughes, a doctor with Public Health England. Fortunately, according to the Evening Standard, the man's United Kingdom partner has tested negative for the infection, but officials are anxious other partners, if they exist, may test positive.
"We are investigating a case who has gonorrhea which was acquired overseas and is very resistant to the recommended first line treatment", Dr. Gwenda Hughes or Public Health England, said in a statement.
Gonorrhea, which is caused by the bacterium, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases around the world. He was given a range of commonly used antibiotics, as well as a combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone which, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the last recommended effective treatment option for uncomplicated gonorrhea. It's arguably the major facet of the larger umbrella of antimicrobial resistance, which describes an "ever-increasing range of infections" caused by not just bacteria, but viruses, fungi, and parasites too.
The man is now being treated with IV antibiotic ertapenem, which appears to be working - but officials won't know for sure until mid-April.
Cases of an azithromycin-resistant strain of "super" gonorrhea recently tripled in Australia.
PHE has since issued an alert regarding the possible spread of the bug that now has no effective treatment.
Public Health England is using the case study as an opportunity to remind the public of the importance of practicing safe sex.
"This report is one more confirmation of our greatest fear: drug-resistant gonorrhea spreading around the globe", said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
"Here in the USA and around the globe, we have to take drug-resistant gonorrhea seriously in order to invest in finding new cures and preventing infections", he said, according to CNN.
"It is better to avoid getting or passing on gonorrhea in the first place and everyone can significantly reduce their risk by using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners".
Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating and unusual discharge from the penis or vagina.