Public Health England (PHE) is investigating two cases of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in heterosexual females that have similar resistance patterns to the first-line antibiotics (ceftriaxone and azithromycin) used in the treatment of gonorrhoea.
While this type of resistance is unusual, there have been cases in other countries.
One of these two cases appears to have been acquired in Europe and the other has links to Europe but was acquired in the UK, PHE said.
Investigations are actively looking for any links between these two cases to determine if they may be connected.
Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, said: “Although these two cases of extensively resistant gonorrhoea have been successfully treated, contact tracing is underway to ensure there is no onward spread. This is a timely reminder of the importance of avoiding getting or passing on gonorrhoea.”
A case of resistant gonorrhoea was acquired in south east Asia by a UK national in 2018. The type of resistance seen in these cases is different and therefore unrelated.
PHE actively monitors, and acts on, the spread of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhoea and potential treatment failures, and has introduced enhanced surveillance to identify and manage resistant strains of infection promptly to help reduce further spread.