European CDC Reports Doubling in Number of Gonorrhea Cases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Andrew Amato-Gauci MD Head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Programme on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis

Dr. Andrew Amato Gauci

Dr. Andrew Amato-Gauci MD
Head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Programme on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our surveillance data (http://bit.ly/1sXdbVv) show that between 2008 and 2014, the overall rate of officially reported gonorrhoea infections has more than doubled across Europe, going up from 8 per 100 000 population to 20 cases per 100 000 persons.

In total, 66 413 gonorrhoea cases were reported in 27 countries of the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) in 2014 – which constitutes an increase of 25% compared with 2013. The majority of gonorrhoea infections were diagnosed among young adults aged 15–24 years who accounted for 38% of cases; followed by the 25–34-year-olds (34%).

For the first time since 2010, the number of cases among women was higher than the number of cases among heterosexual men. Given the risk of reproductive tract complications, e.g. pelvic inflammatory disease or, if untreated, infertility, as well as possible transmission from mother to child, this trend among women is of particular concern.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The rising trend in the number of reported gonorrhoea cases points at on-going pattern of sex without a condom that also heightens the risk of transmission of other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV (11% of those infected with gonorrhoea were co-infected with HIV). The increasing number of cases among men who have sex with men highlights the need to further strengthen prevention activities which target specific groups by using effective, evidence-based messages and methods.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Gonorrhoea is well known to develop drug resistance to the usual antibiotics unless specific combination treatment is used. Working on the results of the resistance data from ECDC’s European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme, the latest European treatment guidelines for gonorrhoea recommend the use of two antimicrobials (ceftriaxone or cefixime together with azithromycin). This surveillance data currently shows stable levels of drug resistance to cefixime, no significant increase in resistance to another commonly used key drug (ceftriaxone) but is also showing increasing resistance to azithromycin. As the control of gonorrhoea depends on effective antimicrobial treatment, even a small increase in drug resistance has a huge impact due to the risk of treatment failure.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Annual Epidemiological Report 2016 – Gonorrhoea. [Internet]. Stockholm: ECDC; 2016 [cited YYYY Month DD]. Available from: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/ Gonorrhoeae/Pages/Annual-epidemiological-report-2016.aspx –

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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