Introduction Gonorrhoea (GC) accounted for 10% of all STI diagnoses in 2015. Diagnoses increased by 11% from 2014 to 2015, continuing an established trend beginning in 2012. BASHH guidelines recommend that cultures are routinely taken as it is cheap and offers antimicrobial susceptibility testing which is of increasing importance given the emergence of resistant GC strains. The primary aim of this audit was to assess the rate of GC culture and the outcome of the culture results in a community service.
Methods 20 cases, coded positive for GC, were recruited over a 19 month period. The standard for GC culture rate was set at 100%, with positive GC culture set at 85–95%. Standards were established from BASHH GC management and testing guidelines.
Results Of the 20 patients 55% had a sample for GC culture taken. The sex distribution of culture sampling was 10:1, male to female. Of these 11 patients 45% had a positive culture, despite all patients having a positive NAAT. These rates are almost half of the expected standards.
Discussion Cultures for GC are not routinely taken at this service. It is plausible that the incorrect storage of samples and delay in plating are contributing factors to the increased false negative rate. This may be a nationwide effect as services move into the community and transport times to laboratories increase. The audit results have been presented to staff at the service and discussion is ongoing with the laboratory regarding expediting transport of samples.
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