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Open Access Research article

N eisseria gonorrhoeae non-susceptible to cephalosporins and quinolones in Northwest Ethiopia

Martha Tibebu1*, Ambachew Shibabaw2, Girmay Medhin3 and Afework Kassu4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

2 Amhara Regional Health Research Laboratory Bahir Dar Center, P. O. Box 641, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, P. O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

4 Department of Microbiology, School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, P.O. Box 196, Gondar, Ethiopia

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:415  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-415

Published: 5 September 2013

Abstract

Background

The occurrence of antibiotic resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates is a serious public health problem in different corners of the globe. The objective of this study was to analyze the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of N. gonorrhoeae in Northwest Ethiopia.

Methods

This was a retrospective study of N. gonorrhoeae isolated from genital swabs of patients referred to the Amhara Regional Health Research Laboratory between September 2006 and June 2012 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. A structured check list was used to collect socio-demographic and laboratory variables. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 16.

Results

Out of 352 genital specimens processed, 29 clinical strains of N. gonorrhoeae were identified. The percentage of N. gonorrhoeae isolates non-susceptible to ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline and penicillin G was 27.8%, 40.9%, 92.6% and 94.4% respectively. Twenty percent of the isolates were found to be non-susceptible to both ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. Non-susceptibility to an injectable cephalosporin and any two of quinolones, penicillins or tetracyclines was observed in 27.8% of the isolates. The percentage of N. gonorrhoeae which were non-susceptible to tetracycline or penicillin G was high throughout the study period. However, the percentage of fluoroquinolone or cephalosporine non-susceptible strains showed an increasing trend.

Conclusions

A high percentage of N. gonorrhoeae isolated from genital specimens in Northwest Ethiopia are non-susceptible to an injectable cephalosporin and any two of quinolones, penicillins or tetracyclines. Treatment of gonorrhea in the study area needs to be guided by antibiotic susceptibility testing of isolates.

Keywords:
Non-susceptible; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Ethiopia