Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Resistance to cephalosporins may lead to untreatable gonococcal infections. We describe the results of the sentinel surveillance of gonococcal infections and the evolution of the resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to antibiotics in France from 2001 to 2012. We also analyse the factors associated with decreased susceptibility to third generation cephalosporins. In France, surveillance of gonococcal infections is conducted through a network of voluntarily participating laboratories. Strains are sent to the national reference laboratory to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for six antibiotics. During the study period, the number of gonococcal infections increased steadily. The susceptibility of 8,649 strains was studied for this period. The proportion of strains with decreased susceptibility to cefixime (MIC>0.125 mg/L) quadrupled between 2011 (0.7%:10/1,521) and 2012 (3.0%: 33/1,093; p<0.001). Between 2001 and 2012, only two of the 8,649 strains, both collected in 2010, had a MIC>0.125 mg/L for ceftriaxone. Decreased susceptibility to cephalosporins increased with older age and was more common in pharyngeal strains. Decreased susceptibility to cefixime may indicate that the national recommendation to use ceftriaxone as a first line treatment for cases of urethritis and cervicitis has not been fully implemented. Enhanced surveillance of pharyngeal strains is strongly suggested.


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