Neisseria gonorrhoea cultures – update regarding national supply concerns

Friday, 22 July 2022

Further to the previous communication detailing the unexpected withdrawal of N. gonorrhoeae antibiotic testing media, the laboratory has now received a limited supply of alternative media.

The alternative supplier is currently increasing production to meet demand but short supply is anticipated for another few weeks.

While stock remains low and unpredictable, the laboratory will test for fewer antibiotics than normal in an attempt to conserve media. This means that, at present, only Ceftriaxone and Ciprofloxacin will be tested. Azithromycin testing cannot currently be performed because this antibiotic failed initial QC.

We are working on resolving this issue and hope to be able to offer Azithromycin testing within the next two weeks. If you have concerns around treatment failure, and Azithromycin testing is crucial, please contact the laboratory on 020 3908 1332 to arrange for further testing at the UKHSA reference laboratory.

Further updates will be issued as the situation evolves.