Department of Health and Social Care
Resistant gonorrhoea case reminds importance of safe sex
A UK case of Neisseria gonorrhoeae with high-level resistance to azithromycin and resistance to ceftriaxone has been acquired abroad.
Dr Gwenda Hughes, Consultant Scientist and Head of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Section at Public Health England (PHE), said:
We are investigating a case who has gonorrhoea which was acquired abroad and is very resistant to the recommended first line treatment. First line treatment for gonorrhoea is a combination of 2 antibiotics (azithromycin and ceftriaxone). 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.
We are following up this case to ensure that the infection was effectively treated with other options and the risk of any onward transmission is minimised. PHE actively monitors, and acts on, the spread of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhoea and potential treatment failures, and has introduced enhanced surveillance to identify and manage resistant strains of infection promptly to help reduce further spread.
It is better to avoid getting or passing on gonorrhoea in the first place and everyone can significantly reduce their risk by using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners. Anyone who thinks they may have been at risk should seek an STI screen at a sexual health clinic.
Read the full Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea in England: 2018 report.
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