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Emerging antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenges gonorrhoea treatment and requires surveillance.


This observational study describes the genetic diversity of isolates in Germany from 2014 to 2017 and identifies multi-antigen sequence typing (NG-MAST) genogroups associated with AMR or some patient demographics.


1,220 gonococcal isolates underwent AMR testing and NG-MAST. Associations between genogroups and AMR or sex/age of patients were statistically assessed.


Patients’ median age was 32 years (interquartile range: 25–44); 1,078 isolates (88.4%) originated from men. In total, 432 NG-MAST sequence types including 156 novel ones were identified, resulting in 17 major genogroups covering 59.1% (721/1,220) of all isolates. Genogroups G1407 and G10557 (G7072) were significantly associated with decreased susceptibility to cefixime (Kruskal–Wallis chi-squared: 549.3442, df: 16, p < 0.001). Their prevalences appeared to decline during the study period from 14.2% (15/106) to 6.2% (30/481) and from 6.6% (7/106) to 3.1% (15/481) respectively. Meanwhile, several cefixime susceptible genogroups’ prevalence seemed to increase. Proportions of isolates from men differed among genogroups (Fisher’s exact test, p < 0.001), being e.g. lower for G25 (G51) and G387, and higher for G5441 and G2992. Some genogroups differed relative to each other in affected patients’ median age (Kruskal–Wallis chi-squared:  47.5358, df:  16, p < 0.001), with e.g. G25 (G51) and G387 more frequent among ≤ 30 year olds and G359 and G17420 among ≥ 40 year olds.


AMR monitoring with molecular typing is important. Dual therapy (ceftriaxone plus azithromycin) recommended in 2014 in Germany, or only the ceftriaxone dose of this therapy, might have contributed to cefixime-resistant genogroups decreasing.


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