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The European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP)—a sentinel approach in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA)
  1. Gianfranco Spiteri1,
  2. Michelle Cole2,
  3. Magnus Unemo3,
  4. Steen Hoffmann4,
  5. Catherine Ison2,
  6. Marita van de Laar1
  1. 1European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2Public Health England, London, UK
  3. 3Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden
  4. 4Department of Bacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gianfranco Spiteri, Surveillance and Response Support Unit, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Tomtebodavägen 11a, Stockholm SE-171 83, Sweden; Gianfranco.Spiteri{at}


Antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is monitored in the European Union/European Economic Area through the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP) coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Euro-GASP includes a sentinel surveillance programme which aims to detect in a timely manner changes in resistance patterns and inform treatment guidelines. The programme aims to test a representative number of isolates from each European Union/European Economic Area member state per year for a range of therapeutically relevant antimicrobials through a biannual hybrid centralised/decentralised system. Testing is supported by an External Quality Assurance programme and a laboratory training programme. Participation in the programme has increased to 21 countries in 2012. Euro-GASP has been able to detect the rapid spread of isolates with decreased susceptibility to cefixime across Europe in 2010 and 2011. Results from the programme have informed changes in European treatment guidelines for gonorrhoea and led to the development of the ‘Response plan to control and manage the threat of multidrug resistant gonorrhoea in Europe’. Future challenges for Euro-GASP include supporting countries to participate in Euro-GASP through decentralised testing, improving timeliness and epidemiological data quality, and increasing participation from Eastern Europe.

  • Gonorrhoea
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • European Union (EU)
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • antimicrobial resistance surveillance
  • antimicrobial treatment

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