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Gonorrhea in China is showing resistance to WHO recommended antibiotics

A new study that was published in the journal PLOS Medicine has found that Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains that are resistant to azithromycin (an antibiotic) and have decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone (another antibiotic) are prevalent in China.

  • According to the study, the prevalence of a dual resistance in N. gonorrhoeae rose between the years 2013 and 2016, showing that treatment with azithromycin and ceftriaxone, which are recommended by the World Health Organization as remedies for the sexually-transmitted infection gonorrhea, may not be effective in China.
  • To facilitate the study, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of azithromycin and ceftriaxone were identified for 3,849 clinical isolates from patients with gonorrhea who provided samples from 2013 to 2016 in seven provinces in China.
  • The study revealed that a high prevalence of resistance to azithromycin (RTA) and a decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone (DSC) were present among patients with gonorrhea, reducing the efficacy of both antibiotics. 

The scientists have concluded that treatments need now to be redesigned to address this emerging resistance to WHO-recommended antibiotics.

Journal Reference:

Yue Ping-Yin, Yan Han, Xiu Qin-Dai, He-Ping Zheng, Shao Chun-Chen, Bang-Yong Zhu, Gang Yong, Na Zhong, Li-Hua Hu, Wen-Ling Cao, Zhong-Jie Zheng, Feng Wang, Qi Zhi, Xiao-Yu Zhu, Xiang-Sheng Chen. SUSCEPTIBILITY OF NEISSERIA GONORRHOEAE TO AZITHROMYCIN AND CEFTRIAXONE IN CHINA: A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY OF NATIONAL SURVEILLANCE DATA FROM 2013 TO 2016. PLOS Medicine, 2018; 15 (2):  DOI: 10.1371/.journal.pmed.1002499

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