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Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea

Collage of people and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The emergence of multidrug- and cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea in the United States would make gonorrhea much more difficult to treat.

Gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it. Following the spread of gonococcal fluoroquinolone resistance, the cephalosporin antibiotics have been the foundation of recommended treatment for gonorrhea. The emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea would significantly complicate the ability of providers to treat gonorrhea successfully, since we have few antibiotic options left that are simple, well-studied, well-tolerated and highly effective. It is critical to continuously monitor antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens.

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Data, trends, challenges, and lab information


Genomic sequencing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to respond to the urgent threat of antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhea – an Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) project (October 22, 2014)

Recommendations for the Laboratory-Based Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae — 2014 (March 14, 2014)

Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) Profiles 2012 (March 4, 2014)

Kirkcaldy RD, Kidd S, Papp J, Weinstock HS, Bolan GA. Trends in antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the United States—the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP), January 2006–June 2012. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2013; 8(Suppl 4): iv5–iv10. Abstract

Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States 2013 - New CDC report outlines core actions to halt drug resistance. (September 16, 2013)

Kidd S, Lee MVC, Maningas E, Komeya A, Kunimoto G, O’Connor N, Katz AR, Wasserman G, Kirkcaldy RD, Whelen AC. Gonococcal susceptibility to cephalosporins—Hawaii, 2003–2011. Sexually Transmitted Disease 2013;40(9):756–9. Abstract

Two New Promising Treatment Regimens for Gonorrhea - press release (July 15, 2013)

Gonorrhea Treatment Guidelines Revised Guidelines to Preserve Last Effective Treatment Option - press release (updated July 2013)

Recent Press Coverage about Drug Resistant Gonorrhea (May 8, 2013)

Kirkcaldy RD, Zaidi A, del Rio C, Hook EW, Holmes KK, Soge OO, Hall G, Papp J, Bolan G, Weinstock HS. Neisseria gonorrhoeae antibiotic resistance among men who have sex with men, the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project, 2005–2010. Annals of Internal Medicine 2013;158(5):321–328. Abstract

Cephalosporin-Resistant Gonorrhea in North America - JAMA editorial by Robert D. Kirkcaldy, MD, MPH (January 9, 2013)

New Treatment Guidelines for Gonorrhea: Antibiotic Change - CDC expert commentary featuring Dr. Robert Kirkcaldy (August 13, 2012)

Update to CDC’s 2010 Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment Guidelines: Oral Cephalosporins No Longer Recommended Treatment for Gonococcal Infections – MMWR August 10, 2012 (August 9, 2012)

Cephalosporin-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae Public Health Response Plan (August 9, 2012)


Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative
Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative

AMD in Action - CDC responds to the urgent threat of antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhea. Learn more.

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