Antibiotic-Resistant Phenotypes and Genotypes of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Isolates in Japan: Identification of Strain Clusters With Multidrug-Resistant Phenotypes

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Objectives:To determine the antibiotic susceptibility and the genotype distributions of N. gonorrhoeae isolates in Fukuoka, Japan, and to evaluate the specific associations between genotypes and antibiotic resistance.Methods:Antibiotic susceptibility testing and N. gonorrhoeae multiantigen sequence typing (NG-MAST) were performed on 242 and 239 N. gonorrhoeae isolates, respectively, in Fukuoka, Japan in 2008.Results:No isolates showed resistance to spectinomycin, ceftriaxone, or cefixime, although 34 (14.0%) and 149 (61.6%) isolates displayed decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone (minimum inhibitory concentration range, 0.06–0.5 mg/L) and cefixime (minimum inhibitory concentration range, 0.06–0.5 mg/L), respectively. Furthermore, 171 (70.7%), 68 (28.1%), 39 (16.1%), and 1 (0.4%) isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, penicillin, and azithromycin, respectively. The 239 isolates were divided by NG-MAST into 67 sequence types (STs); the 4 most common STs were ST2958 (20.5%), ST4018 (7.5%), ST1407 (6.7%), and ST4487 (5.9%). ST2958 and ST1407 were characterized by a multidrug-resistant phenotype, whereas ST4018 and ST4487 presented a susceptible phenotype. Interestingly, ST1407, which is now common in Europe and Australia, was identified as a predominant ST in this study.Conclusions:This is the first report combining N. gonorrhoeae antibiotic susceptibility testing with molecular typing by using NG-MAST in Japan. Although a large diversity in NG-MAST was identified, based on comparisons with the international data, the ST1407 with a multidrug-resistant phenotype currently seems to be circulating worldwide.

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