Rapid risk assessment - extensively drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the UK and Australia

15 May 2018

Article: 52/1902

Between February and March 2018, three cases of gonorrhoea that are resistant to the recommended first line antibiotic treatment have been identified in the UK (one case) and Australia (two cases) (see current note 52/1504).

These are the first cases globally of extensively drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae with high-level resistance to azithromycin and ceftriaxone. The cases were not epidemiologically linked.

Even a small change in drug resistance may have wide-ranging consequences as those infected continue to transmit the infection without knowing. The spread of extensively drug-resistant strains like the ones identified in the UK and Australia may have a serious impact on the control of gonorrhoea.

A newly published rapid risk assessment presents background information, an outline of the public health issue, a threat assessment for the EU and conclusions and options for response. 

Source: ECDC, 7 May 2018