Date of Graduation

Winter 12-16-2016

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Evolving throughout the last century, Gonorrhea has become a superbug, becoming difficult to treat. As the second most commonly reported notifiable disease, gonorrhea rates have been increasing, despite efforts in prevention and treatment. Populations at risk are mainly MSM and FSW. In 2015, men’s gonorrhea rates in the United States were higher compared to women, at 140.9 and 107.2 per 100,000 population, respectively. Illinois has consecutively had higher rates of infection compared to the US, at 133.5 per 100,000 population compared to the US rate of 123.9 per 100,000 population. The surveillance of gonococcal isolate resistance to current antimicrobials began in the 80’s and has continued since, collecting isolates from 25 sites nationwide. These isolates assist researchers in finding susceptibility levels and resistance rates as they emerge. Over time, however, resistance began emerging with every treatment recommended, and gonorrhea is now resistant to most, if not all previous treatments utilized. Through each classification of treatment; sulfonamides, penicillin’s, spectinomycin, tetracycline, quinolones, and other macrolides, have once succeeded at curing gonorrhea. However, once resistance is built, gonorrhea then becomes untreatable. Currently, there are only two medications recommended in the treatment of gonococcal infections: Ceftriaxone injection and oral Azithromycin. These two medications are the last of many that show efficacy in treating gonorrhea, despite increasing resistance. Continued work researching geographic incidence similarities and correlations between geographical location, population demographics, and spread of resistance over time, may allow further insight into more evasive ways to manage prevention efforts against resistance.