Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea detected in Australia

Status: Active

Date issued: 17 April 2018

Issued by: Dr Brett Sutton, Acting Chief Health Officer, Victoria

Issued to: General practitioners

Key messages

  • Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea infection have been detected in Australia. The emergence of this strain, resistant to ALL antibiotics that have been in routine use to treat gonorrhoea, is a major public health concern.
  • Victorian gonorrhoea notifications have increased over the last few years in men who have sex with men (MSM) as well as in heterosexual men and women.
  • Gonorrhoea is of particular public health importance because it increases both susceptibility to acquiring HIV infection and transmissibility of HIV infection.
  • Take swabs for culture and antimicrobial resistance testing in all symptomatic patients at presentation, and in all patients with nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) confirmed infection. Obtaining swabs for culture is crucial for detecting, monitoring, and responding to antimicrobial resistance.
  • Treat gonorrhoea with ceftriaxone 500 mg IM plus azithromycin 1 g orally according to treatment guidelines.
  • Ensure treatment has been successful by reviewing cases for symptom resolution after one week, and undertaking test of cure by NAAT and reflexive culture two weeks after treatment. Seek expert advice for all treatment failures.
  • Ensure partner notification and treatment has been completed.

Read the full alert: Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea detected in Australia