Antibiotic with novel mode of action effective against gonorrhoea infection

Study results show that 96% of patients taking a single 2g or 3g dose of the novel antibiotic zoliflodacin were microbiologically cured of gonorrhoea.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria

A novel antibiotic, which prevents bacterial cells from replicating DNA, is effective in the treatment of uncomplicated urogenital gonorrhoea, results from a phase II clinical trial have shown[1]

The trial involved 179 people who had either uncomplicated or untreated urogenital gonorrhoea, or who had sexual contact with a person with gonorrhoea in the prior 14 days. They received single-dose oral zoliflodacin (2g or 3g) or a single intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone (500mg).

A test of cure occurred within 6±2 days after treatment, followed by a safety visit 31±2 days after treatment.

It was found that 96% of patients taking 2g zoliflodacin were microbiologically cured, as were 96% of those in the 3g dose group and 100% of those in the ceftriaxone group. Most adverse events in the zoliflodacin groups were mild and gastrointestinal in nature.

“Reports of multidrug-resistant [Neisseria] gonorrhoeae and the possibility of untreatable gonorrhoea underscore the need for the development of new antimicrobial agents,” the researchers wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine (8 November 2018).

“This phase II trial creates equipoise for larger, more definitive studies of zoliflodacin.”


[1] Taylor S, Marrazzo J, Batteiger B et al. Single-dose zoliflodacin (ETX0914) for treatment of urogenital gonorrhea. NEJM 2018;379:1835–1845. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1706988

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, January 2019, Vol 11, No 1;11(1):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20205888

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