New treatment regimens for gonorrhea discovered

The CDC's Robert Kirkcaldy released findings on Tuesday that show two new antibiotic regimens using existing drugs successfully treated gonorrhea in clinical trials.

The first combination of existing drugs was an injectable combination of gentamicin and oral azithromycin. The research showed that the injencttable combination was 100 percent effective in treating genital gonorrhea. The other combination, oral gemifloxacin and oral azithromycin, was taken orally and found to be 99.5 effective.

These trial results are an exciting step in the right direction in the fight against drug-resistant gonorrhea," Gail Bolan, director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention, said. "But patients need more oral options with fewer side effects. It is imperative that researchers and pharmaceutical companies prioritize research to continue to identify new, effective, better-tolerated drugs and drug combinations."

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sponsored the Phase IV clinical trial. The trial began in 2010 and enrolled 401 men and women from the ages of 15 to 60. The study was conducted in Baltimore, Birmingham, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

"In addition to developing new treatment options, additional measures to stay ahead of resistant gonorrhea are critical," Anthony S. Fauci, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. "For example, a point-of-care drug susceptibility test would help providers know-at the time of diagnosis-which treatment regimen will be most effective. Progress toward a vaccine is urgently needed."