Introduction Our local area has the UK’s highest prevalence of gonorrhoea. Pharyngeal infection is commonly asymptomatic, thereby acting as a reservoir of undiagnosed infection. Development of antimicrobial resistance continues to be a challenge to preserving sensitivity to current first-line treatment. Aim: To assess the management of pharyngeal gonorrhoea at an inner city sexual health centre with reference to BASHH 2011 guidelines.
Methods All cases of positive pharyngeal NAATs dating from 1st July 2014, to 1st August 2016, were identified from the clinical records portal and a case-note review completed.
Results 219 cases were included in the final data analysis - median age 33 (range 19–58). 131/219 (60%) lone pharyngeal gonorrhoea cases were identified. 194/219 (95%) were MSM. 89/131 (67%) pharyngeal cultures were obtained: (16%) positive for Neisseria gonorrhoea – 9/16 demonstrated some antimicrobial resistance. Only 8/131 (6%) had a sore throat documented at screening. 205/219 (94%) received treatments in clinic (14 patients lost to follow up). Of those treated 113/205 (55%) received a test of cure with 100% negative NAATs. All patients receiving 2nd line treatments were clinically justified. 1 patient was diagnosed HIV+ within 6 months of pharyngeal gonorrhoea treatment.
Discussion The majority of infections were asymptomatic (94%) demonstrating validity of on-going triple site screening. The low sensitivity of positive pharyngeal N.gonorrhoea cultures (16%) reinforces importance of pharyngeal NAATs for detection of infection and review of culture sampling techniques. A low rate of TOC reflected the difficulties in completing patient follow up seen in our clinic population
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