Drug-resistant gonorrhoea: the latest data from the ECDC


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published results from the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP) for 2016.

The data show that among a sample of 2,660 Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates tested, resistance to cefixime (2.1%) and azithromycin (7.5%) remained stable compared with 2015 (1.7% and 7.1%, respectively), although dual-resistance was reported by more countries in 2016. Resistance to ciprofloxacin was 46.5 per cent in 2016 compared to 49.4 per cent in 2015. No isolates demonstrated resistance to ceftriaxone.

A total of 22 different combinations of antimicrobials were used to treat gonorrhoea in 2016. Among patients for whom information on treatment was available, 86.2 per cent were administered ceftriaxone and 52.5 per cent received combined treatment with ceftriaxone and azithromycin.

In May of this year, the ECDC reported the first cases of extensively drug-resistant gonorrhoea which demonstrated high-level azithromycin resistance (HLAziR) combined with resistance to ceftriaxone. The three cases were reported in the United Kingdom (n=1) and Australia (n=2) in February and March respectively. The case from the UK and one case from Australia were travel-associated and both acquired gonorrhoea in South-East Asia.