Resistant gonorrhoea identified in UK

Public Health England (PHE) is investigating two cases of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in heterosexual females that is resistant to first-line antibiotics, ceftriaxone and azithromycin.

According to PHE, both cases were successfully treated and it is now following up sexual contacts of the patients to minimise the risk of any onward transmission.

One of the cases appears to have been acquired in Europe and the other has links to Europe but was acquired in the UK. Investigations are looking for any links between these two cases to determine if they may be connected. A single case of gonorrhoeae resistant to first-line treatment was reported last year.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of the National Infection Service at PHE, says: ‘These cases are a timely reminder of the importance of avoiding getting or passing on gonorrhoea. Everyone can substantially reduce their risk by using condoms with all new and casual partners.’

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.

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