Optimisation of treatments for oral Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection: Pharmacokinetics Study (STI-PK project) - study protocol for non-randomised clinical trial

Fabian Y.S. Kong, Magnus Unemo, Shueh H. Lim, Ngaire Latch, Deborah A. Williamson, Jason A. Roberts, Steven C. Wallis, Suzanne L. Parker, Cornelia B. Landersdorfer, Tami Yap, Christopher K. Fairley, Eric P.F. Chow, David A. Lewis, Mohamed A. Hammoud, Jane S. Hocking

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2 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections are common and incidence increasing. Oropharyngeal infections are associated with greater treatment failure compared with other sites and drive transmission to anogenital sites through saliva. Gonococcal resistance is increasing and new treatments are scarce, therefore, clinicians must optimise currently available and emerging treatments in order to have efficacious therapeutic options. This requires pharmacokinetic data from the oral cavity/oropharynx, however, availability of such information is currently limited. 

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Healthy male volunteers (participants) recruited into the study will receive single doses of either ceftriaxone 1 g, cefixime 400 mg or ceftriaxone 500 mg plus 2 g azithromycin. Participants will provide samples at 6-8 time points (treatment regimen dependent) from four oral sites, two oral fluids, one anorectal swab and blood. Participants will complete online questionnaires about their medical history, sexual practices and any side effects experienced up to days 5-7. Saliva/oral mucosal pH and oral microbiome analysis will be undertaken. Bioanalysis will be conducted by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Drug concentrations over time will be used to develop mathematical models for optimisation of drug dosing regimens and to estimate pharmacodynamic targets of efficacy. 

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by Royal Melbourne Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (60370/MH-2021). The study results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and reported at conferences. Summary results will be sent to participants requesting them. All data relevant to the study will be included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. 


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere064782
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2022



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