The STI gonorrhoea is caused by the gram-negative bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
- There were over 30,000 gonorrhoea infections diagnosed in Australia in 20191
Diagnosis and treatment
Most gonorrhoea cases are asymptomatic, ranging from 80% in vaginal infections to 85-90% in penile urethral infections.2 Gonorrhoea can also be transmitted via oral and anal sex. The oral infection may cause a sore throat but is often asymptomatic.3
Nucleic acid amplification testing is used to diagnose gonorrhoea. See the Australian STI Management Guidelines for help with diagnosis and treatment.
Antimicrobial resistant gonorrhoea is increasing in Australia. Collection of samples for gonococcal culture before treatment is vital to determine antimicrobial sensitivity and to contribute to antimicrobial resistance surveillance. Treatment should not be delayed while waiting for results.2
Gonorrhoea is a notifiable condition and the state or territory health department must be notified of a positive case.
Gonorrhoea is a notifiable disease in all Australian states/territories. The diagnosing clinician and/or the pathology labratory is responsible for notification, depending on the jurisdiction. Click on your state below for further information about notification in your jurisdiction. Please note that information regarding notification is correct as of July 2022. Please check with your relevant Health Department for further updates.
- Australian Capital Territory: Doctors, authorised nurse practitoners, pathologists and practice managers
- New South Wales: Pathology laboratories
- Northern Territory: Pathology laboratories and medical practitoners (for gonococcal conjunctivitis only. See the Northern Territory notification page for more information)
- Queensland: Pathology laboratories
- South Australia: Medical practitioners and diagnostic laboratories
- Tasmania: Pathology laboratories
- Victoria: Medical practitioners and pathology services
- Western Australia: Medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, and pathology laboratories
Follow-up and management
Consider testing for other STIs, if this did not occur at the initial presentation (click here for more information)
Advise no sexual contact for 7 days after treatment, and no sex with partners from the previous 2 months until they have been tested and treated as appropriate.2
Contact tracing is extremely important for gonorrhoea infections and it is the diagnosing clinicians responsibility to initiate and document a discussion with the index case about contact tracing.
A test of cure should be performed 2 weeks after treatment. A test for reinfection should be undertaken 3 months after treatment.2