In the Journals

USPSTF recommends prophylactic ocular topical medication to prevent gonococcal eye infection in newborns

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force gave an ‘A’ level recommendation to prophylactic ocular topical medication to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum regardless of a woman’s gestational age, according to a report recently published in JAMA.

The rate of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum — which the USPSTF said without treatment can lead to blindness, corneal scarring and ocular perforation as early as 24 hours after birth — was estimated at 0.4 cases per 100,000 live births a year during 2013 to 2017.

“The USPSTF found no new data that would change its previous conclusion that topical ocular prophylaxis is effective in preventing gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum and related ocular conditions. The USPSTF found no new data that would change its previous conclusion that there is convincing evidence that topical ocular prophylaxis of all newborns is not associated with serious harms,” the task force wrote.

“Therefore, the USPSTF reaffirms its [2011] conclusion that there is convincing evidence that topical ocular prophylaxis for all newborns provides substantial benefit,” it continued.

The USPSTF wrote that opportunities exist to expand the knowledge base surrounding the disease and treatment.

“The only available drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum is 0.5% erythromycin ophthalmic ointment. It is currently unknown whether Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed resistance to erythromycin ointment in the United States. However, given increased antimicrobial resistance noted in other countries, further research is needed to find safe and effective alternatives to erythromycin,” it wrote.

Baby and Mom on Couch 
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force gave an ‘A’ level recommendation to prophylactic ocular topical medication to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum regardless of a woman’s gestational age, according to a report recently published in JAMA.
Source:

“Another area for research is whether risk-based prophylaxis of newborns, based on maternal risk factors, is as effective as universal prophylaxis,” the task force added.

According to the USPSTF, the AAP, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, CDC and WHO also recommend topical ocular prophylaxis to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum in all newborns.

In addition, ACOG recommends screening all pregnant women at risk for gonorrhea or who live in an area where prevalence of the condition is high during the first prenatal visit. Women with gonococcal infection should be tested again in 3 to 6 months, ideally in the third trimester. If the first test is negative but the woman is at high risk for gonorrhea, retesting at the beginning of the third trimester is recommended, the task force wrote. – by Janel Miller

Disclosures: All members of the USPSTF receive travel reimbursement and an honorarium for participating in USPSTF meetings. No other relevant financial disclosures were reported.

 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force gave an ‘A’ level recommendation to prophylactic ocular topical medication to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum regardless of a woman’s gestational age, according to a report recently published in JAMA.

The rate of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum — which the USPSTF said without treatment can lead to blindness, corneal scarring and ocular perforation as early as 24 hours after birth — was estimated at 0.4 cases per 100,000 live births a year during 2013 to 2017.

“The USPSTF found no new data that would change its previous conclusion that topical ocular prophylaxis is effective in preventing gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum and related ocular conditions. The USPSTF found no new data that would change its previous conclusion that there is convincing evidence that topical ocular prophylaxis of all newborns is not associated with serious harms,” the task force wrote.

“Therefore, the USPSTF reaffirms its [2011] conclusion that there is convincing evidence that topical ocular prophylaxis for all newborns provides substantial benefit,” it continued.

The USPSTF wrote that opportunities exist to expand the knowledge base surrounding the disease and treatment.

“The only available drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum is 0.5% erythromycin ophthalmic ointment. It is currently unknown whether Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed resistance to erythromycin ointment in the United States. However, given increased antimicrobial resistance noted in other countries, further research is needed to find safe and effective alternatives to erythromycin,” it wrote.

Baby and Mom on Couch 
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force gave an ‘A’ level recommendation to prophylactic ocular topical medication to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum regardless of a woman’s gestational age, according to a report recently published in JAMA.
Source:

“Another area for research is whether risk-based prophylaxis of newborns, based on maternal risk factors, is as effective as universal prophylaxis,” the task force added.

According to the USPSTF, the AAP, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, CDC and WHO also recommend topical ocular prophylaxis to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum in all newborns.

In addition, ACOG recommends screening all pregnant women at risk for gonorrhea or who live in an area where prevalence of the condition is high during the first prenatal visit. Women with gonococcal infection should be tested again in 3 to 6 months, ideally in the third trimester. If the first test is negative but the woman is at high risk for gonorrhea, retesting at the beginning of the third trimester is recommended, the task force wrote. – by Janel Miller

Disclosures: All members of the USPSTF receive travel reimbursement and an honorarium for participating in USPSTF meetings. No other relevant financial disclosures were reported.