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January 9, 2013

Cephalosporin-Resistant Gonorrhea in North America

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Drs Kirkcaldy and Bolan); and Departments of Global Health, Medicine, and Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr Wasserheit).

JAMA. 2013;309(2):185-187. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.205107

Gonorrhea has affected humans for centuries and remains common. Worldwide, an estimated 106.1 million cases occur annually.1 In 2011, gonorrhea again was the second most commonly reported notifiable infection in the United States with 321 849 cases reported.2 Because gonorrhea often can be asymptomatic, the true disease burden may be closer to 700 000.3 Gonorrhea disproportionately affects racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities. Untreated gonococcal infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility in women and can facilitate transmission of human immunodeficiency virus.4 Childhood blindness still affects infants born to mothers infected with gonorrhea, particularly in resource-limited countries.