BACKGROUND: Antibiotic-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae has prompted the development of new therapies. Zoliflodacin is a new antibiotic that inhibits DNA biosynthesis. In this multi-center, phase 2 trial, zoliflodacin was evaluated for the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhea. METHODS: We randomly assigned eligible men and women who had signs or symptoms of uncomplicated urogenital gonorrhea or untreated urogenital gonorrhea or who had had sexual contact in the preceding 14 days with a person who had gonorrhea to receive a single oral dose of zoliflodacin (2 g or 3 g) or a single 500-mg intramuscular dose of ceftriaxone in a ratio of approximately 70:70:40. A test of cure occurred within 6±2 days after treatment, followed by a safety visit 31±2 days after treatment. The primary efficacy outcome measure was the proportion of urogenital microbiologic cure in the microbiologic intention-to-treat (micro-ITT) population. RESULTS: From November 2014 through December 2015, a total of 179 participants (167 men and 12 women) were enrolled. Among the 141 participants in the micro-ITT population who could be evaluated, microbiologic cure at urogenital sites was documented in 55 of 57 (96%) who received 2 g of zoliflodacin, 54 of 56 (96%) who received 3 g of zoliflodacin, and 28 of 28 (100%) who received ceftriaxone. All rectal infections were cured in all 5 participants who received 2 g of zoliflodacin and all 7 who received 3 g, and in all 3 participants in the group that received ceftriaxone. Pharyngeal infections were cured in 4 of 8 participants (50%), 9 of 11 participants (82%), and 4 of 4 participants (100%) in the groups that received 2 g of zoliflodacin, 3 g of zoliflodacin, and ceftriaxone, respectively. A total of 84 adverse events were reported: 24 in the group that received 2 g of zoliflodacin, 37 in the group that received 3 g of zoliflodacin, and 23 in the group that received ceftriaxone. According to investigators, a total of 21 adverse events were thought to be related to zoliflodacin, and most such events were gastrointestinal. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of uncomplicated urogenital and rectal gonococcal infections were successfully treated with oral zoliflodacin, but this agent was less efficacious in the treatment of pharyngeal infections.
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