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Antimicrobial resistance to gonorrhoea treatments is rising, says PHE

First-line treatments for gonorrhoea are becoming less effective due to a rise in antimicrobial resistance, according to a report from Public Health England.

The latest figures show that resistance to most first-line treatments for gonorrhoea rose in 2016/17.

As a result, GPs are told to stay alert to any changes to the antimicrobials recommended for first-line use.

The report, published this month, said: ‘The effectiveness of first-line treatment for gonorrhoea continues to be threatened by antimicrobial resistance.'

It reported that resistance to azithromycin (4.7% to 9.2%), ciprofloxacin (33.7% to 36.4%) and cefixime (modal MIC from 0.015 mg/L to 0.03 mg/L) had increased in 2016/17, while resistance to penicillin had declined from 13.9% to 10.8%.

PHE said: ‘Practitioners should ensure that all patients with gonorrhoea are treated and managed according to national guidelines, and should be alert to changes to the antimicrobials recommended for first-line use.’

It also called for ‘regular testing for HIV and STIs’ for men who have sex with men and black ethnic minority women and men, if they are engaging in unprotected sex with new or casual partners.

Anyone under 25 who is sexually active should be screened for chlamydia annually and on change of sexual partner, it added.

Services that provide rapid treatment and partner notification should also be provided to reduce the risk of STI complications and infection spread.

This comes after PHE launched a campaign targeted at people aged between 16 and 24 years old, to raise awareness of STIs.

And a Pulse investigation revealed that nine out of ten councils cut spending on sexual health, alcohol misuse and weight management services, for 2018/19.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Vinci Ho

    This is the kind of health consequences this government must face now after years of starving resources in vital areas (public health, mental health and general practice) , disrupting the integrity of primary care . Austerity after the financial crisis in 2008 was only one excuse exploited by politicians.
    My gut feeling is that the awareness and knowledge about STIs amongst our young generations have been diminishing. The number of youngsters declining my offer to screening had increased , for instance. Furthermore, resources for research into the subject(s) are essential.
    Again , there are all kinds of crack on the gate as far as gatekeeping is concerned and this is avoidable.
    Unforgivable.......😑

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