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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a major problem worldwide. In the former Soviet countries including Russia, the knowledge regarding AMR has been highly limited. However, in 2004 the Russian gonococcal antimicrobial susceptibility programme (RU-GASP) was initiated. The aims of this study were to examine and describe the prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae AMR in 2007 and 2008 in Russia, and reveal trends in the period from 2005 to 2008. Gonococcal isolates (660 in 2007 and 900 in 2008) from 36 surveillance sites were examined using agar dilution method. From 2005 to 2008, the proportion of isolates resistant to spectinomycin increased from 0% to 7.2%, and remained high for those resistant to ciprofloxacin (approximately 49%). The resistance to azithromycin was 2.3% and 0.4% in 2007 and 2008, respectively. All isolates between 2005 and 2008 were susceptible to ceftriaxone. In conclusion, the AMR of N. gonorrhoeae in Russia is high, as in most countries in the European Union, and ceftriaxone should be the first line for treatment. If there is no access to ceftriaxone or in the presence of severe beta-lactam antimicrobial allergy, spectinomycin should be used; however, the resistance to spectinomycin has increased. Regular, quality-assured national and international surveillance of AMR in N. gonorrhoeae is crucial globally for public health.


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