Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK with over 16,000 infections reported each year. Laboratory testing shows that higher concentrations of ceftriaxone are now required to treat gonorrhoea which is a predictor of future widespread failure. A small, but increasing, number of patients have already been reported to have highly resistant strains of gonorrhoea. Many currently available antibiotics do not work against gonorrhoea and there is an urgent need to find an alternative treatment which is effective and safe. The options for future treatment are extremely limited. Some potential alternative drugs have either not been assessed in patients or are still in development, are reserved for specific infections or have the potential to rapidly become ineffective.
Testing in the laboratory suggests that gonorrhoea should respond to gentamicin, and it has been used as a treatment in some developing countries with success.