Molecular approaches to enhance surveillance of gonococcal antimicrobial resistance

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Mar;12(3):223-9. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3217. Epub 2014 Feb 10.


The best available data indicate that the world is heading towards a pandemic of extensively drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. At the same time, clinical microbiology laboratories have moved away from using culture-based methods to diagnose gonorrhoea, thus undermining our ability to detect antimicrobial resistance (AMR) using current technologies. In this Opinion article, we discuss the problem of N. gonorrhoeae AMR, particularly emerging resistance to the cephalosporin ceftriaxone, outline current concerns about the surveillance of N. gonorrhoeae AMR and propose the use of molecular methods on a large scale to systematically enhance surveillance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Ceftriaxone / pharmacology
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Genotype
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology
  • Gonorrhea / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / drug effects*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / genetics*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Ceftriaxone