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Genitourin Med. 1987 Aug;63(4):239-43.

Chromosomal resistance of gonococci to antibiotics.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, London.


Three hundred and twenty nine strains of non-penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae (non-PPNG) isolated from men and women were tested for their susceptibility to a range of antibiotics, and were also auxotyped and serogrouped. Nearly 6% (18) of 312 strains tested were resistant to 1 mg/l or more penicillin (compared with 4.4% of PPNG strains isolated in 1981). Many (198, 64%) strains showed intermediate resistance to penicillin (0.12-0.5 mg/l). Nearly 5% (15) of 312 strains tested were resistant to 0.5 mg/l or more cefuroxime, and there was a high degree of cross resistance between these two antibiotics. High levels of resistance to erythromycin and tetracycline were also found, and there was also appreciable cross resistance between these antibiotics and the beta lactam drugs. Resistance to spectinomycin was rare, and there was no cross resistance between spectinomycin and other agents tested. Levels of resistance between strains isolated from different anatomical sites did not differ, except that resistance to erythromycin was greater in rectal isolates. Four main auxotypes were detected. Strains requiring arginine, hypoxanthine, and uracil (AHU-) were more prevalent from the cervix. We have shown that there is an association between auxotype, serogroup, and level of sensitivity to penicillin, cefuroxime, and tetracycline.

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