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Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrheae Strains in Three Regions of Armenia

Hovhannisyan, Gayane MD*; von Schoen-Angerer, Tido MD; Babayan, Karen MD, PhD; Fenichiu, Olivier MD§; Gaboulaud, Valerie MD

doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000258433.36526.b5

Objective: There are no data available on gonococcal susceptibility in the Caucasus region. We aimed to determine in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrheae in Armenia in order to update the national treatment protocol.

Methods: Isolates from men with urethral discharge presenting at 3 STI clinics in 3 different sites of Armenia were used to determine susceptibility of N. gonorrheae strains for 11 antimicrobials using the disc diffusion technique.

Results: Among the 101 isolates tested the susceptibility rate for penicillin, doxycycline, and kanamycin were 37.6, 25.7, and 80.2%, respectively. Sensitivity to quinolones was 95% for both ofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. All strains were susceptible to third-generation cephalosporins and to spectinomycin. Only 11% of strains were susceptible to all antibiotics tested.

Conclusion: Third-generation cephalosporines and spectinomycin are suitable first-line regimens. Quinolones are not advisable as first-line treatment given current borderline susceptibility, known tendency for rapid resistance development in this class, and frequent over-the-counter use of this antibiotic in Armenia.

The study of antimicrobial susceptability of N. gonorrheae in Armenia found resistance to penicillin, doxycycline, and kanamycin, as well as emerging resistance to quinolones.

From the *Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada; †Médecins sans frontières, Geneva, Switzerland; ‡Medical-Scientific Center for Dermatology and STI, Yerevan, Armenia; §Médecins sans frontières, Brussels, Belgium; and ¶Epicentre, Paris, France

We thank Marine Aznauryan for media preparation and sensitivity testing, Anne Johnston for setting up the laboratory procedures, and the following colleagues for technical support: Philippe Mayaud, Tania Crucitti, Eddy Van Dyck, and Pascale Chaillet.

Correspondence: Gayane Hovhannisyan, MD, Princess Margaret Hospital, 610 University Avenue, Room 9–414, Toronto, ON M5G2M9. E-mail:

Received September 18, 2006, and accepted December 18 2006.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association