Drug-resistant gonorrhea most common on West coast and among MSM*

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Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)is the second most frequently reported infectious disease in the United States. Consequences of untreated gonococcal infections include pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin were widely used to treat gonorrhea in the 1990s, but rising resistance prompted the CDC to advise against their use in 2007.

The interactive bubble plot below explores aspects of the regional and population dynamics of fluoroquinolone-resistant N. gonorrhoeae (QRNG). The spread of QRNG is of interest because emerging resistance to cephalosporins–the last available drugs against gonorrhea – may follow a close pattern. This alarming trend could herald the arrival of untreatable gonorrhea in the US, unless measures are taken to strengthen laboratory capacity, and to encourage the development of new antibiotics.

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*MSM men who have sex with men.