Sexual and reproductive health

Emergence of multi-drug resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae - Threat of global rise in untreatable sexually transmitted infections

Fact sheet

World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Publication details

Number of pages: 2
Publication date: 2011
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/11.14 - Web only


Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that remains a major public health concern. It represents 88 million of the estimated 448 million new cases of curable STIs – that also includes syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis – which occur globally every year.

This fact sheet summarizes the rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae to a range of antibiotics with no new therapeutic agents being produced. Gonorrhoea may thus become virtually untreatable. Action is needed to contain antimicrobial resistance to Neisseria gonorrhoeae as well as to put in place a mitigation strategy to prevent that eventuality.