Gonorrhoea Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (GASP)

Gonorrhoea remains a major health concern worldwide. Evidence suggests an increasing gonococcal resistance to, and treatment failures with, drugs currently used for the treatment of gonorrhoea, including the "last line" oral cephalosporins. Continued antimicrobial resistance will have impact on efforts to control the disease and reduce morbidity associated with gonococcal infections.

Globally, antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is increasing in prevalence, which compromises effective treatment and disease-control efforts. High rates of penicillin, tetracycline and quinolone resistance have long been detected; these medicines are no longer recommended for gonorrhoea treatment in a majority of countries in the world. Antimicrobial resistance to spectinomycin and to newer antibiotics such as azithromycin have also emerged. Emergence of new forms of antimicrobial resistance in N. gonorrhoea is often followed by a rapid spread. Unrestricted access to antimicrobials, inappropriate selection and overuse of antibiotics, and suboptimal quality of antibiotics, as well as inherent genetic mutations within the organism contribute to the development of resistance.