ECDC publishes response plan to manage the threat of multi-and extensively drug-resistant gonorrhoea in Europe

26 October 2021

Article: 55/4305

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a report reviewing the progress made over the preceding two years to their response plan to manage drug-resistant gonorrhoea in Europe, using data collected for 2019. 

Gonorrhoea remains a serious public health problem and is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in European countries. Successful treatment of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae) infections reduces the risk of complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, first-trimester miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and infertility, and also reduces the risk of HIV acquisition and transmission.

The first case of genital infection with highly ceftriaxone-resistant N. gonorrhoeae in Europe was reported in France in 2011, and two high-level ceftriaxone-resistant isolates of the same strain were also reported in Spain in 2012, all of which belonged to sequence type (ST) 1407. As ceftriaxone is the last remaining option for empirical first-line monotherapy, these treatment failures triggered concern, leading to the development in 2012 of the ECDC response plan to control and manage the threat of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea in Europe.

In 2019, the first update to the ECDC response plan was published. This update reviewed the effectiveness of the 2012 response plan, updated the indicators with data from 2017, and evaluated the achievements and progress made during the intervening years. In September 2020, EU and EEA countries were invited to provide information on the indicators for 2019, using 2017 as a baseline, with 26 countries providing data in response to this request.

Source: ECDC, 19 October 2021