Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea

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 resistance and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens.


Lessons Learned from CDC’s Strengthening US Response to Resistant Gonorrhea – This special supplement of Sexually Transmitted Diseases shares findings and lessons learned from the SURRG project, adding to the published data on public health approaches to address resistant gonorrhea. (December 2021)

2021 STI Treatment Guidelines – Gonococcal Infections – Expands on treatment recommendations updated in December 2020. (July 22, 2021)

2019 AR Threats in the United States and Drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae pathogen page (November 13, 2019)

Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) Profiles – Provides site-specific data for CDC’s surveillance system that monitors U.S. resistance trends for gonorrhea in select STD clinics.

AR Investment Map – This interactive tool shows CDC’s key investments to combat resistance, including drug-resistant gonorrhea, across the nation.

Gradient Strip Testing

Through CDC’s AR Lab Network, the Maryland Public Health Laboratory offers nationwide gradient strip method antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST)—at no cost—to assist in care of patients with potentially drug-resistant gonorrhea infections. Learn more on this fact sheet.

Success Stories
Success Story
Researchers in CDC’s Division of STD Prevention laboratory have developed a freely-accessible analysis tool to help all public health labs identify genes involved in drug-resistant gonorrhea.
Success Story
CDC’s SURRG program combats resistant gonorrhea with highly-focused, collaborative partnerships.
STI Prevention Success Stories