Sexual and reproductive health

The Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (GASP)

Two laboratory professionals examining and recording results of tests.

The rapidly changing antimicrobial susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae has created an important public health problem.

Gonococcal resistance to penicillin and tetracycline first emerged in Asia during the 1970s. High levels of resistance to quinolones (e.g. ciprofloxacin) developed by the mid-2000s. Latest data indicate increasing gonococcal resistance to, and treatment failures with, third generation oral cephalosporins. Several of the gonococcal strains associated with failure of cephalosporin treatment have also demonstrated resistance to other antibiotics and have been classified as multi-drug resistant gonococci.

Gonococcal resistance to third-generation cephalosporins has emerged in ten countries with even wider spread of gonococci that have determinants for cephalosporin resistance !


The WHO GASP network

GASP is a worldwide laboratory network that is coordinated by regional coordinating centres

Objectives the WHO GASP

  • To ensure adequate sentinel AMR surveillance in order to inform treatment guidelines in all countries
  • To establish a strategy to rapidly detect patients with gonococcal infections, who experience a clinical and/or microbiological treatment failure following treatment with recommended cephalosporin therapy
  • To ensure the effective clinical management of infected patients and their sexual partners