HealthDay News — According to a report presented at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 STD Prevention Conference in Atlanta, GA, 7 samples from patients diagnosed with gonorrhea in Honolulu, HI showed resistance against both azithromycin and ceftriaxone.

The Honolulu gonorrhea samples were taken from 7 people in April and May 2016, the researchers said. All of the patients were successfully treated by the dual regimen of azithromycin and ceftriaxone and no further cases have been identified.

However, the fact that 1 strain of gonorrhea exhibited both high-level azithromycin resistance and newfound resistance to ceftriaxone is cause for concern among public health officials. In the study, 5 of the samples also showed increased resistance to ceftriaxone, the antibiotic given alongside azithromycin in the dual regimen recommended by the CDC.

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This is the first cluster of cases to show increased resistance to both azithromycin and ceftriaxone. “Our last line of defense against gonorrhea is weakening,” Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said in a CDC news release.

“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.”


New Warning Signs that Gonorrhea Treatment May be Losing Effectiveness [press release]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; September 21, 2016.

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