USPSTF Recommends Antibiotic Prophylaxis to Prevent Gonorrheal Eye Disease in Newborns

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael Silverstein, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of pediatrics Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics Vice chair of research for the Department of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine

Dr. Silverstein

Michael Silverstein, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Pediatrics
Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics
Vice chair of research for the Department of Pediatrics
Boston University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum, or GON, is a severe infection of the eye that can occur in babies born to women who have gonorrhea. If left untreated, GON can cause serious problems, including blindness, that can appear as soon as 24 hours after delivery.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments available that can prevent GON in newborns. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reviewed the most current research on the benefits and harms of ocular prophylaxis—which is applying antibiotic ointment to the babies’ eyes at birth—to prevent GON.

We found that, if applied within 24 hours after birth, the ointment is very effective at preventing gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum and the problems it causes. Therefore, we are recommending that clinicians provide this preventive service for all newborns.  Continue reading

New Drug Class Holds Promise Against Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Intracellular Gram-negative, Neisseria gonorrhoeae diplococcal bacteria, - CDC image

Intracellular Gram-negative, Neisseria gonorrhoeae diplococcal bacteria, – CDC image

Edward W. Hook, III, MD
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Medicine / Infectious Diseases
Birmingham, AL

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Zoliflodacin represents a new class of antibiotics (spiropyrimidinetriones) with in vitro activity against Neisseria gonorrhoeae, as well as other STD  pathogens (Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma genitalium).  Because of this promising data and the fact that the manufacturer (Entasis Pharmaceuticals) was willing to pursue the possibility of using this drug to treat gonorrhea, a Phase II trial was conducted which showed he drug to be 96% effective for genital or rectal infections.  The drug was well tolerated as well making it a promising drug for gonorrhea treatment which might help to combat the increasing problem of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea.  Continue reading

Expedited Partner Therapy May Decrease Population Levels of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Matthew Golden MD, MPH
Director, PHSKC HIV/STD Program
Professor of Medicine, University of Washington
Harborview Medical Center

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Golden: Gonorrhea and chlamydial infection are the most common reportable infections in the United States and, in women, are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility and chronic pelvic pain. One way to decrease the number of cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia is to increase our success in treating the sex partners of persons diagnosed with these infections. Expedited partner therapy (EPT) – treating partners without requiring them to first undergo a medical evaluation – is one way to increase partner treatment. This usually involves giving people medication to give to their partners. Prior randomized trials have found that EPT decreases patients’ risk of becoming reinfected.

We conducted a community-level randomized trial to evaluate whether making free Expedited partner therapy available to medical providers would increase the use of Expedited Partner Therapy and decrease gonorrhea and chlamydial infections at the population level. We found that a public health program that made Expedited partner therapy widely available could dramatically increase medical providers use of EPT. Although our final result was not statistically significant, our findings suggest that the program likely decreased both gonorrhea and chlamydial infection by about 10% at the population-level.

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