The European gonococcal antimicrobial surveillance programme (Euro-GASP) appropriately reflects the antimicrobial resistance situation for Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the European Union/European Economic Area

Michelle Cole*, Chantal Quinten, Susanne Jacobsson, Michaela Day, Andrew J. Amato-Gauci, Neil Woodford, Gianfranco Spiteri, Magnus Unemo, Angelika Stary, Maria Haller, Ruth Verbrugge, Tania Crucitti, Soteroulla Soteriou, Despo Pieridou, Susan Cowan, Steen Hoffmann, Jevgenia Epstein, Jelena Viktorova, Ndeindo Ndeikoundam, Agathe GoubardPeter Kohl, Susanne Buder, Viviane Bremer, Eva Tzelepi, Vasileia Konte, Eszter Balla, Mária Dudás, Guðrún Sigmundsdóttir, Guðrún Svanborg Hauksdóttir, Derval Igoe, Brendan Crowley, Barbara Suligoi, Paola Stefanelli, Gatis Pakarna, Violeta Mavcutko, Christopher Barbara, Jackie Maistre Melillo, Alje Van Dam, Birgit Van Benthem, Ineke Linde, Hilde Kløvstad, Thea Bergheim, Slawomir Majewski, Beata Mlynarczyk-Bonikowska, Jacinta Azevedo, Maria José Borrego, Peter Pavlik, Peter Truska, Irena Klavs, Samo Jeverica, Julio Vazquez, Mercedes Diez, Inga Velicko, Magnus Unemo, Gwenda Hughes, Kirstine Eastick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP) antimicrobial resistance (AMR) data are used to inform gonorrhoea treatment guidelines; therefore the data need to be robust and representative. We assessed the extent to which Euro-GASP reflects national measures of the AMR situation for Neisseria gonorrhoeae across the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA). Methods: We compared data from Euro-GASP with published national gonococcal AMR data from 15 countries for azithromycin, cefixime and ciprofloxacin for the period 2009 to 2013 and performed Poisson regression to identify differences (p < 0.05) between the proportions of resistant isolates. The 2014 Euro-GASP AMR data for each country (n = 19) were weighted to account for differences in the distribution of patient characteristics between Euro-GASP and EU/EEA epidemiological gonorrhoea surveillance data. Data were compared to determine whether estimates of resistance levels differed with regards to the 5% threshold used to assess the clinical utility of first-line gonorrhoea treatments. We assessed the quality of decentralised testing by comparing AMR data for isolates tested both centrally and in the participating laboratories, and by evaluating external quality assessment (EQA) performance. Results: There was no significant difference for azithromycin, cefixime and ciprofloxacin resistance when Euro-GASP country data were compared with data from national reports. Weighting slightly altered the Euro-GASP AMR estimates (by between - 4.7 and 4.7% from the unweighted estimates). Weighting resulted in greater changes in estimates of resistance to azithromycin (from - 9.5 to 2.7%) and ciprofloxacin (from - 14.8 to 17.9%) in countries with low isolate numbers and low completeness of reporting (n = 3). Weighting caused AMR levels to fall below or above the 5% threshold for cefixime or azithromycin, respectively in only two countries. Susceptibility category data submitted from the decentralised Euro-GASP laboratories were concordant with the Euro-GASP data (> 90%). EQA performance was also good; < 5% of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) results differed by > 4-fold from the modal MIC of the EQA isolate. Conclusions: The overall prevalence of AMR reported by Euro-GASP reflects closely the AMR situation for N. gonorrhoeae in the EU/EEA. Euro-GASP data can be used to provide robust AMR estimates to inform the European guideline for the management of gonorrhoea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1040
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Europe
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • European Union (EU)
  • European gonococcal antimicrobial surveillance programme (euro-GASP)
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Representativeness
  • Surveillance
  • Treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'The European gonococcal antimicrobial surveillance programme (Euro-GASP) appropriately reflects the antimicrobial resistance situation for Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the European Union/European Economic Area'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this