Antimicrobial susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Greece: data for the years 1994-2004
AuthorStathi, M.; Flemetakis, A.; Miriagou, V.; Avgerinou, H.; Kyriakis, K. P.; Maniatis, A. N.; Tzelepi, E.
Objectives: Surveillance data concerning antimicrobial susceptibilities of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated in Greece during the 11 year period 1994-2004 are presented. Methods: Antimicrobial susceptibilities of all gonococcal isolates received by the Greek National Reference Center for N. gonorrhoeae during the study period were determined in terms of MICs using Etest. Trends in yearly isolation frequencies by susceptibility category were estimated for defining significant changes in overall susceptibility figures. Results: Cefotaxime and spectinomycin retained undiminished activity against all isolates throughout the study period. High rates of resistance and intermediate susceptibilities were noticed for penicillin, tetracycline and erythromycin, and even for norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin. A substantial portion (16.5%) of the gonococcal samples consisted of multiresistant strains exhibiting resistance to two or more agents of different antibiotic classes. Although annual rates of low-level chromosomal resistance decreased, high-level resistance owing to the presence of penicillin- and tetracycline-resistance plasmids increased. Fluoroquinolone resistance also showed a significant increasing trend after 1996, reaching a peak rate of 11.3% in 2004. Conclusion: Third-generation cephalosporins and spectinomycin should be considered as first-choice drugs for the empirical treatment of gonorrhoea in Greece.