Meeting the public health challenge of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009 Sep;7(7):821-34. doi: 10.1586/eri.09.63.


Globally, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is increasing in prevalence, both within and across antibiotic classes, including extended-spectrum cephalosporins, raising concerns that gonorrhea may become untreatable in certain circumstances. The AMR surveillance that is essential to optimize standard treatments is often lacking or of poor quality in countries with high disease rates. Recent initiatives by the WHO to enhance global AMR surveillance that focus on multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae through revision of surveillance standards and use of a new panel of N. gonorrhoeae control strains are described. Keys to meeting these new challenges posed by gonococcal AMR remain the reduction in global burden of gonorrhea combined with implementation of wider strategies for general AMR control, and better understanding of mechanisms of emergence and spread of AMR.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Cephalosporins* / pharmacology
  • Cephalosporins* / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Gonorrhea* / drug therapy
  • Gonorrhea* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / drug effects*
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health
  • World Health Organization


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephalosporins