“The increasing rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis need to be closely monitored, and public health interventions need to be targeted at the affected groups. These intervention programmes need to be evidence-based and monitored rigorously and systematically to ensure their quality. Multidrug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae is a serious public health threat which could result in the loss of the last remaining options for effective treatment in the near future. The spread of strains with reduced antimicrobial susceptibility to third generation cephalosporins across Europe needs to be further investigated using tools such as molecular typing.”
Increasing trends of gonorrhoea and syphilis and the threat of drug-resistant gonorrhoea in Europe. Euro Surveill. 2012;17(29):pii=20225
Sexually transmitted infections (STI) notifications have been on the rise in several European countries since the early 2000s, most likely due to multiple factors like increased screening, use of more sensitive diagnostics, improved reporting and also due to high levels of unsafe sexual behaviour among certain subpopulations. Across Europe, 32,000 cases of gonorrhoea, 18,000 cases of syphilis and over 345,000 cases of chlamydia were reported in 2010. Certain subpopulations appear to be more affected than others: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by gonorrhoea and syphilis, and young people between 15 and 24 years of age are affected mainly by chlamydia and gonorrhoea. The increases in gonorrhoea and syphilis reported in this edition of Eurosurveillance are worrying as they are identified in MSM and young adults and seem to be associated with high levels of unsafe sexual behaviour and co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The increases in gonorrhoea are of particular concern as they coincide with decreasing susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to currently used antimicrobial drugs in England and across Europe.