The two women, who have remained unidentified, were first revealed to have caught the potent, antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhoea in January. Public Health England first confirmed the two separate cases of the STI, but had not established a link between them. Since then, further research into the cases, published in Eurosurveillance medical journal, has revealed they could be linked to unprotected sex on the Spanish party island of Ibiza. One woman was confirmed to have had unprotected sex with more than one man while on holiday in Ibiza last August.
The other woman may have caught the infection after having unprotected sex with a man who had recently returned from the island.
Researchers said the two cases could be linked as the women were part of the same “sexual network”.
Both women have since been treated of the infection.
Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, said: “Two women were treated for extensively drug-resistant gonorrhoea in the autumn of 2018.
“These cases serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting yourself against sexually transmitted infections.
“This includes using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual sexual partners.
“Anyone with symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection or who is concerned they may have an STI should seek advice from a sexual health clinic.
“It is also important to tell all sexual partners if you contract an STI, which your clinician can help with and can be done anonymously.”
Public Health England said it has introduced “enhanced monitoring of gonorrhoea antimicrobial resistance” to ensure all cases are identified promptly to help reduce further spread.
The health body warned there is potential for the super gonorrhoea strain to spread through Europe.
Last year, a British man was revealed to be the first person in the UK to have caught super gonorrhoea, after a sexual encounter with a woman in south-east Asia.
Gonorrhoea is an STI that is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoea or gonococcus bacteria.
Super gonorrhoea is a potent strain that is resistant to the main antibiotics used to treat the infection.
This happens when the bacteria mutate – so much so that antibiotics are no longer effective in treating them.
Gonorrhoea has slowly showed signs of resistance over a number of years, and treatments have had to change to reflect that.
Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is now in the top three urgent superbug threats for 2019, according to the Centers for Disease and Control.
If left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to complications such as septicaemia, pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.