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Neisseria gonorrhoeae has consistently developed resistance to antimicrobials used therapeutically for gonorrhoea and few antimicrobials remain for effective empiric first-line therapy. Since 2009 the European gonococcal antimicrobial surveillance programme (Euro-GASP) has been running as a sentinel surveillance system across Member States of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to monitor antimicrobial susceptibility in N. gonorrhoeae. During 2011, N. gonorrhoeae isolates were collected from 21 participating countries, and 7.6% and 0.5% of the examined gonococcal isolates had in vitro resistance to cefixime and ceftriaxone, respectively. The rate of ciprofloxacin and azithromycin resistance was 48.7% and 5.3%, respectively. Two (0.1%) isolates displayed high-level resistance to azithromycin, i.e. a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≥256 mg/L. The current report further highlights the public health need to implement the European response plan, including further strengthening of Euro-GASP, to control and manage the threat of multidrug resistant N. gonorrhoeae.


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