Incidence, epidemiology and evolution of reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin in Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Korea

Kyungwon Lee, Yunsop Chong, L. Erdenechemeg, Kyung Soon Song, Kwang Hun Shin

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To verify the decrease of susceptibility to ciprofloxacin in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, determine the size of the recently reported new β-lactamase plasmid and explain the high prevalence of penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae (PPNG). Methods: Gonococci were isolated from prostitutes in Korea. Antimicrobial susceptibility was tested by NCCLS disk diffusion and agar dilution methods. Plasmid was isolated by an alkaline lysis method. Patterns of Nhel-digested genomic DNA were compared after pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Results: The minimum inhibitory concentration of ciprofloxacin for 50% of the isolates rose from 0.015 mg/L in 1993 to 0.12 mg/L in 1996. The proportion of PPNG remained at 70% or over during the 5-year period. The size of a novel β-lactamase plasmid, first reported in 1994, was determined to be approximately 3.2 MDa, and 48% of the PPNG isolates contained it. Twelve of 50 isolates had the same PFGE pattern and nine others another pattern. Conclusion: The rapid decrease of fluoroquinolone-susceptible gonococci suggests that in the near future the drug may become less useful for gonorrhea treatment. The new 3.2-MDa plasmid may have been introduced as a result of the recent increase in overseas travel. The PFGE pattern suggests that high prevalence of PPNG may be due to dissemination of a few resistant clones among the high-risk groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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