GP’s have been warned to be on alert for the most highly resistant gonnorrhoea strain ever detected in Australia after a case of gonococcal A8806 occurred in Sydney.

It is understood that the patient, a female tourist from central Europe, contracted the infection in Sydney and was eventually treated in Cairns.

In an alert issued to doctors in July, the federal health department said testing at the WHO Collaborating Centre for STD and the Neisseria Laboratory at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital had identified the drug-resistant strain. The A8806 strain exhibited the highest measure of resistance to ceftriaxone ever reported in Australia.  It is reportedly had a ceftriaxone minimum inhibitory concentration of 0.5mg/L.

Subsequent analysis at Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute and the University of Queensland found the strain had similarities to the ceftriaxone-resistant strain H041, which was identified in Japan in 2009.

According to the AMA, the federal health department has urged GP’s to refer all cases of gonorrhoea infection for culture-based testing, particularly where treatment has failed. It is advised that testing without requesting a culture of the suspected swap specimen did not provide the definitive data necessary for predicting antimicrobial resistance.