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Curr Drug Targets. 2015;16(3):272-80.

History and epidemiology of antibiotic susceptibilities of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

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Division of Urology, Department of Organ Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a common causative microorganism of male urethritis. The most important problem with this infectious disease is antibiotic resistance. For instance, in the 1980's-1990's, most studies showed almost 100% susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae to the representative cephalosporins, cefixime and cefpodoxime. By the late 1990s, the reported susceptibility decreased to 93.3-100% and further decreased to 82.9-100% in the early 2000's. However, reported susceptibility was revived to 95.8-100% in the late 2000's to 2010's. The susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae to penicillins varied in different countries and regions. A 2002 Japanese study showed a resistance ratio of about 30% and while Laos, China and Korea showed 80-100% resistance. Fluoroquinolones have shown a dramatic change in their effect on N. gonorrhoeae. In the early 1990's, 0.3-1.3% of N. gonorrhoeae showed low susceptibility or resistance to ciprofloxacin in the US but this figure jumped to 9.5% by 1999. In Asia, N. gonorrhoeae ciprofloxacin resistance or lower susceptibility was about 80-90% in the early 2000's and this trend continues to the present day. Azithromycin is currently the possible last weapon for N. gonorrhoeae treatment per oral administration. The susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae to azithromycin was 100% in Indonesia in 2004 and the latest study from Germany showed 6% resistance in strains from 2010-2011. This review summarizes the history and epidemiology of N. gonorrhoeae antibiotic susceptibilities, for which the most frequently used antibiotics vary between countries or regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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