Gonorrhea Increasingly Resistant to Fluoroquinolone

Resistance to penicillin declined as use of the drug faded

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance of gonorrhea to treatment with fluoroquinolone is increasing in the United States, and ongoing monitoring of efficacy of treatment is required, according to study findings published online July 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Susan A. Wang, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a 16-year surveillance project covering multiple sites in 37 cities and 82,064 patients, from 1988 to 2003.

Patients had a median age of 26 years and 74.1 percent were black. While 39.5 percent were treated with penicillins in 1988, none were treated with the drug by 1994. In 1991, resistance to penicillin peaked at 19.6 percent before declining to 6.5 percent in 2003.

Fluoroquinolone treatment increased from zero in 1988 to 42 percent in 2003, by which time resistance had been detected in 70 percent of the study cities and 4.1 percent of isolates.

"Ongoing gonococcal susceptibility surveillance on the local and national levels will continue to be important for successful treatment and control of gonorrhea," the authors conclude. "Clinicians need to be aware of local antimicrobial resistance trends to effectively treat patients with gonorrhea."

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