Historical network: ESSTI Project

The ESSTI (European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections) Network was first established in 2001 and was funded by DG SANCO. The aim of the network was to develop and coordinate epidemiological and laboratory surveillance of STIs in the European region in order to better inform STI prevention, care and control.

The three main objectives of ESSTI for 2001-2004 were:

  1. To develop a methodology for investigating and responding to outbreaks of STIs in Europe including determining the extent to which they represent risk or opportunities for HIV transmission.
  2. To evaluate current EU STI surveillance systems and national policies on STI prevention and control, in order to construct an inventory of national resources for STI surveillance and prevention and to determine the feasibility of establishing future STI surveillance networks.
  3. To develop and pilot a methodology for enhanced EU-wide laboratory surveillance for N. gonorrhoeae infection, including antimicrobial resistance detection and monitoring.

Outcomes of ESSTI 2001-2004:

  • Formation of a network of epidemiologists and microbiologists; 
  • Establishment of ESSTI_ALERT; 
  • Evaluation of current EU STI surveillance systems; 
  • Collation of STI trend data 1990 – 1999; 
  • Establishment of a European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP)

Objectives for ESSTI 2006-2008:

The ESSTI project was continually funded in January 2006 for three years and the specific objectives were:

  • Operate and develop the ESSTI network with EU member states; EFTA-EEA; Turkey; 
  • Collate, analyse and report surveillance data on the major acute STIs from participating countries;
  • Extend ESSTI_ALERT, the European early warning system for unexpected and adverse STI transmission events (e.g. outbreaks);
  • Implement a European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Susceptibility Surveillance Project (Euro_GASP), including a quality assurance system, recommended methods, training programmes and molecular typing for outbreaks; 
  • Deliver training programmes on STI surveillance; lab diagnostics; and STI clinical management to network participants; 
  • Use the ESSTI website to disseminate information to European policymakers; professionals; and public

As of January 2009, the coordination for the European surveillance of STI and related activities has been transferred to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

ESSTI Annual Reports

Previous reports are available upon request. Please send an e-mail to webmaster@ecdc.europa.eu.

Samples questionnaires on STI surveillance, care and prevention

Previous questionnaires are available upon request. Please send an e-mail to webmaster@ecdc.europa.eu.

Microbiology

  • Guidelines for submitting specimens for molecular typing
  • Summary results of the gonococcal quality assurance panel: 1st, 2nd, 3rd 
  • Summary of Euro_GASP prevalence results 2008, 2006-2007 

Previous guidelines and summary results are available upon request. Please send an e-mail to webmaster@ecdc.europa.eu.

Related papers

Savage E, Ison C, Van de Laar M, European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI). Results of a Europe-wide investigation to assess the presence of a new variant of Chlamydia trachomatis. Eurosurveillance Monthly 2007; 12(10); October

Van de Laar M. & Ison C. Europe-wide investigation to assess the presence of new variant of Clamydia trachomatis in Europe. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2007; 12(2): 08/02/2007

Martin IM, Hoffman S, Ison CA. European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI): the first combined antimicrobial susceptibility data for Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Western Europe. J Antimicrob Chemother 2006; 58(3):587-93

Ison CA, Martin IM, Lowndes CM, Fenton KA. Comparability of laboratory diagnosis and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from reference laboratories in Western Europe. J Antimicrob Chemother 2006; 58(3):580-6.

Arthur G, Lowndes CM, Blackham J, Fenton KA, and the European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI) Network. Divergent approaches to partner notification for sexually transmitted infections across the European Union. Sex Transm Dis 2005; 32(12):764-741.

Fenton KA and Lowndes CM, for the European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI) Network. Recent trends in the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections in the European Union. Sex Transm Infect 2004; 80: 255-263.

Lowndes CM and Fenton KA, for the ESSTI (European Surveillance of STIs) Network. Surveillance systems for STIs in the European Union: facing a changing epidemiology. Sex Transm Infect 2004; 80: 264-271.

von Holstein I, Fenton K and Ison C. European network for surveillance of STIs (ESSTI) establishes working groups on lymphogranuloma venereum and HIV/STI prevention among MSM. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2004; 8(25): 17/06/2004

Arthur G. HART study findings suggest a bigger role for human papillomavirus testing in cervical cancer screening. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2003; 7(51): 18/12/2003

Lowndes C, Fenton K, and Cooper J. First meeting of the European Surveillance of STIs (ESSTI) network collaborative group. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2003; 7(15): 10/04/2003

Lowndes C. Sexually transmitted infections may assume an increasingly important role in the evolution of HIV transmission in Europe. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2002; 6(29): 18/07/2002

Lowndes CM, Fenton K. New initiative for surveillance of sexually transmitted infections across Europe. Letter. BMJ 2002; 20/06/2002. Published online.

Fenton K, Giesecke J, Hamers F. Europe-wide surveillance for sexually transmitted infections: a timely and appropriate intervention. Eurosurveillance 2001; 6(5): 69-70

Reports

Full of the meeting reports are  accessible only for  network members.

ESSTI. Report of the 6th meeting of the ESSTI collaborative group meeting Malta 8-10 October 2008.

ESSTI. Report of the 5th meeting of the ESSTI collaborative group meeting Federal Ministry for Health, Family and Youth, Vienna 26-27 November 2007.

ESSTI. Report of the 7th ESSTI steering group meeting. University College London, London. 9-10 May 2007.

ESSTI. Report of the 4th ESSTI collaborative group meeting. Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, London. 28-29 November 2006.

ESSTI. Report of the 5th ESSTI steering group meeting. Health Protection Agency, London. 27-28 June 2006.

ESSTI. The European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI) Network. Final Report for the period 1/12/01-1/6/2004.

ESSTI. Report of the 3rd ESSTI collaborative group meeting. Health Protection Agency, London. 26-28 May 2004.

ESSTI. Report of the 2nd ESSTI collaborative group meeting. Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome. 6-7 November 2003.

ESSTI. Executive summary of gonococcal reference laboratories questionnaires results. November 2003.

ESSTI. Executive summary of STI laboratory questionnaires results. November 2003.

ESSTI. Executive summary of laboratory N. gonorrhoeae panel exchange results. November 2003.

PHLS and ESSTI. Report of the first European conference on syphilis outbreaks. London. March 2003.

ESSTI. Report of the 1st ESSTI Collaborative Group Meeting. Health Protection Agency, London. 18-19 March 2003.

Presentations

Cole M, Ison C and the ESSTI network. Establishment of a European Gonoccocal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP). International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI) Europe, 23rd conference. Dubrovnik, Croatia. 11 – 14 October 2007.

Savage E, Ison C, van de Laar M and the ESSTI network. Results of a Europe-wide investigation to assess the presence of a new variant of Chlamydia trachomatis. Health Protection. Warwick, UK. 17 – 19 September 2007.

Savage E and the ESSTI network. Resurgence of syphilis in Europe: epidemiology and response. International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) 17th conference. Seattle, USA. 29 July – 01 August 2007.

Blaxhult A, Velicko I, Herrmann B. New variant of chlamydia: evidence of spread in Europe International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) 17th conference. Seattle, USA. 29 July – 01 August 2007.

Fenton K. STI/HIV trends in men who have sex with men: similarities and contrasts. International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) 17th conference. Seattle, USA. 29 July – 01 August 2007.

Martin I, Ison C, Lowndes CM, Fenton K, on behalf of the ESSTI Collaborative Group. Microbiology of STIs in Europe: ESSTI, the new surveillance program for Europe. 8th World STI/AIDS Congress. Punta del Este, Uruguay. 2-5 December 2003. Abstract 171.

Fenton K, Lowndes C, Cooper J, for the European Surveillance of STIs (ESSTI) Network. Heterogeneity in European STI surveillance systems: is harmonisation possible 8th World STI/AIDS Congress. Punta del Este, Uruguay. 2-5 December 2003.

Fenton K, Boccia D, Lowndes C et al, on behalf of the ESSTI Network. The recent epidemiology of infectious syphilis in Western Europe. 8th World STI/AIDS Congress. Punta del Este, Uruguay. 2-5 December 2003.

Fenton K, Boccia D, Lowndes C, et al, on behalf of the ESSTI Collaborative Group. Recent outbreaks of infectious syphilis in Europe: the role of European STI surveillance. European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Conference. Barcelona, Spain. 17 October 2003.

Blackham J, Lowndes C, Fenton K, European STI Surveillance (ESSTI) Network. Diversity of sexually transmitted infections (STI) surveillance systems in Western Europe. Health Protection Agency (HPA) Conference. Warwick, UK.17 September 2003.

van de Laar M, van Veen M, Couturier E, Hamouda O, Fenton K. Resurgence of syphilis in Europe. International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) 15th biennial conference. Ottawa, Canada. 27-30 July 2003.  Abstract 649 from ISSTDR 2003

Boccia D, Lowndes C, Fenton K, for the ESSTI Collaborative Group. Recent outbreaks of syphilis in EU: do we need an Early Warning System for STI outbreaks in Europe International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) 15th biennial conference. Ottawa, Canada. 27-30 July 2003.   Abstract 418 from ISSTDR 2003

Lowndes CM, Fenton K, Cooper JE, for the European STI Surveillance (ESSTI) Network. Comparing apples and oranges – Understanding and overcoming heterogeneity in European STI surveillance systems. International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) conference. Ottawa, Canada. 27-30 July 2003.   Abstract 157 from ISSTDR 2003

Fenton KA, on behalf of the ESSTI Collaborative Group. A European network for surveillance of STIs (ESSTI). Seminar Gaspar Casal, University of Alicante. Alicante, Spain. October 2002.

Posters

van de Laar M, Savage E, Ison C and the ESSTI network. Results of a Europe-wide investigation to assess the presence of a new variant of Chlamydia trachomatis in Europe. European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE). Stockholm, Sweden. 18-20 October 2007.

Ison CA, Martin IMC, Lowndes C, Fenton KA, for the ESSTI collaborative group. Laboratory methods for the diagnosis of bacterial sexually transmitted infections across Europe. 2nd Joint Meeting of British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association (ASTDA). Bath, UK.19-21 May 2004.

Ison CA, Martin IMC, Lowndes C, Fenton KA, for the ESSTI collaborative group. Comparability of gonococcal antimicrobial susceptibility data from reference laboratories across Europe. 2nd Joint Meeting of British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association (ASTDA). Bath, UK.19-21 May 2004.

Lowndes CM, Cooper J, Fenton K, for the ESSTI Collaborative Group. Partner notification policies and practices for STIs in Western European countries. International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) 15th biennial conference. Ottawa, Canada. 27-30 July 2003.  Abstract 647 from ISSTDR 2003