Antibiotic resistance detected in cluster of gonorrhea infections

Researchers with the Hawaii Department of Health identified a cluster of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections that displayed a decreased susceptibility to the double-antibiotic combination used to eliminate the infection after other drugs have failed, according to a presentation given Wednesday at the CDC's 2016 STD Prevention Conference.

The infections were detected in seven people (six men and one woman) in Honolulu, none of whom reported having sexual partners in common, traveling abroad or antibiotic use. While all patients received successful treatments using the dual antibiotic, the cluster represents the first cases of decreased ceftriaxone susceptibility and very high-level azithromycin resistance occurring in the same isolate in the United States.

"Our last line of defense against gonorrhea is weakening," said Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. "If resistance continues to increase and spread, current treatment will ultimately fail and 800,000 Americans a year will be at risk for untreatable gonorrhea."

More articles on infection control: 
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3 things to know about ‘cat-scratch fever’

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