WHO Reports Continued Increase in Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea — Physician’s First Watch
WHO Reports Continued Increase in Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea
By Amy Orciari Herman
Gonorrhea resistant to last-resort antibiotics has been found in two-thirds of countries with available data, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
Analyzing 2009–2014 data from the WHO Global Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme, the agency found that 97% of countries reported strains resistant to ciprofloxacin, 81% had strains resistant to azithromycin, and 66% (more than 50 countries) reported strains resistant to oral cefixime or injectable ceftriaxone, considered to be last-resort treatments.
Because of increasing resistance, the WHO in 2016 recommended dual therapy with ceftriaxone and azithromycin over single drug therapy.
The research and development pipeline for new gonorrhea drugs is "relatively empty," the WHO says. As such, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership has made new gonorrhea treatments a top priority. In addition, the WHO stresses the need for accurate, rapid diagnostic tests, and emphasizes the importance of gonorrhea prevention.