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.


  • 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.