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​Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea Center of Excellence

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California’s Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea (ARGC) Center of Excellence is the online hub for information and resources on antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea to help health care providers and health departments prepare for and respond to antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea within California. For general information on gonorrhea, please see the CDPH STD Control Branch gonorrhea webpage
Each year in the United States, half of all gonococcal infections are resistant to at least one antibiotic. Currently, only one class of antibiotics (cephalosporins) remains effective in treating gonorrhea. Enhanced GC surveillance to monitor gonorrhea infections, along with establishing systems for providers and local health departments to respond to suspected antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea cases, are important strategies to prepare for resistant gonorrhea. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) STD Control Branch is engaged in three grants funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) so that our state can prepare and respond to this imminent threat: Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP), STD Surveillance Network (SSuN), and Strengthening the US Response to Resistant Gonorrhea (SURRG). 


History of​ Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea

Since 2013 the CDC has listed antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea as an urgent public health threat in the United States. An executive order from the National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) was created to help protect Americans against antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics have successfully treated gonorrhea for decades. However, over time the bacteria have progressively developed resistance or decreased susceptibility to almost every antibiotic used for treatment. Monotherapy with an intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone is currently the only CDC-recommended treatment regimen for gonorrhea. While alternative oral regimens exist for rectal and urogenital infections, there is no other treatment option for pharyngeal infections. Reported cases of cephalosporin resistance have occurred in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Canada. Establishing public health infrastructure and coordination with local communities is crucial for preventing an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the US.

Timeline of Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea Treatments

From 1930 - 2020, recommended treatment regimens for gonorrhea have changed due to antibiotic resistance to first-line therapy.

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