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Antimicrobial resistance monitoring in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and strategic use of funds from the Global Fund to set up a systematic Moroccan gonococcal antimicrobial surveillance programme
  1. Amina Hançali1,
  2. Francis Ndowa2,
  3. Bahija Bellaji1,
  4. Aziza Bennani3,
  5. Amina Kettani3,
  6. Reda Charof4,
  7. Rajae El Aouad5
  1. 1STIs Laboratory, National Institute of Hygiene, Ministry of Health, Morocco
  2. 2Dermatology-Venereology, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO STI Team, Harare, Zimbabwe
  3. 3National Program against AIDS and STIs, Department of Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Morocco
  4. 4Bacteriological Laboratory, National Institute of Hygiene, Ministry of Health, Morocco
  5. 5National Institute of Hygiene, Ministry of Health, Morocco
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amina Hançali, STIs Laboratory, Ministry of Health, National Institute of Hygiene, 27, Avenue Ibn Batouta, Rabat BP 769, Morocco; aminahansali{at}


Objectives The aims of this study were to assess antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections and update the treatment in the national guidelines for the syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections in Morocco.

Methods 171 men complaining of urethral discharge were recruited from basic health services during 2009. Urethral swab samples were collected and N gonorrhoeae identification was performed by culture. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the Etest method and the antimicrobial agents tested were ciprofloxacin, penicillin, spectinomycin, tetracycline, ceftriaxone and cefixime.

Results A total of 72 isolates were examined. Significant resistance to tetracycline (92.8%) and ciprofloxacin (86.8%), which was used as first-line treatment in gonococcal infections, was noted. No resistance to spectinomycin, ceftriaxone or cefixime was detected in all the isolates.

Conclusions Following these results the Ministry of Health of Morocco replaced ciprofloxacin and introduced ceftriaxone 250 mg as a single dose in the treatment of gonococcal infections. Using funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), a surveillance programme was set up for antimicrobial resistance testing in N gonorrhoeae.


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