Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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Antimicrobial Resistance and Molecular Epidemiologic Characteristics of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Isolated from Korea in 2013

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2013 December, Volume 16, Issue 4, pages 182-187.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Molecular Epidemiologic Characteristics of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Isolated from Korea in 2013

Hyo Jin Kim1, Younghee Seo1, Wan Hee Kim1, Yangsoon Lee1, Hyukmin Lee2, Kyungwon Lee1, Yunsop Chong
Department of Laboratory Medicine, 1Research Institute of Bacterial Resistance, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, 2Kwandong University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea


Background: Antimicrobial resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae has become a serious problem worldwide, and ceftriaxone non-susceptible isolates have been recently reported from Japan and Europe. In this study, we evaluated the antimicrobial susceptibilities and molecular epidemiological characteristics of isolates from Korea in 2013.

Methods: Sixty strains of N. gonorrhoeae were collected from Korean patients and prostitutes. Antimicrobial susceptibility was tested by the agar dilution and disk diffusion methods. N. gonorrhoeae multi-antigen sequence typing (NG-MAST) was performed in order to determine the molecular epidemiologic relatedness.

Results: All of isolates were non-susceptible to penicillin G and tetracycline, and the rate of ciprofloxacin- resistant isolates was 95% in 2013. The MICs of ceftriaxone were within the susceptible range for all isolates, but one isolate non-susceptible to cefixime (MIC=0.5 μg/mL) was encountered. The isolates with decreased susceptibility (MIC≤0.12 μg/mL) to cefixime or ceftriaxone accounted for 10% and 14% of the isolates tested, respectively. In NG-MAST analysis, 40 different STs were encountered among the 59 isolates. Isolates that belonged to tbpB110 showed higher cefixime and ceftriaxone MICs (0.12-0.5 μg/ mL) as well as cefixime resistance.

Conclusion: Most of the N. gonorrhoeae isolates showed susceptibility to spectinomycin and cephalosporins. Due to the emergence of isolates that are non-susceptible to cefixime and the prevalence of isolates with the tbpB110 allele belonging to ST1407, which cause cefixime and ceftriaxone treatment failure in successful global clones of N. gonorrhoeae, a continuous nationwide antimicrobial surveillance program is required to monitor the emergence of cephalosporin resistance in N. gonorrhoeae. (Ann Clin Microbiol 2013;16:182-187)


Microbial sensitivity tests, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae multiantigen sequence typing