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Br J Biomed Sci. 1995 Jun;52(2):87-92.

Gonococcal serovar patterns in Glasgow: 1990-1992.

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Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Scotland, UK.


Using monoclonal antibodies directed against protein 1 (major outer membrane protein) in the cell wall of Neisseria gonorrhoeae it is possible to serotype the gonococcus into different sub-groups. This study was designed to analyse the distribution of such serovars in Glasgow, Scotland, and report associations between serovars and clinical features of infection. N. gonorrhoeae isolated from all patients with a diagnosis of gonorrhoea attending genitourinary medicine clinics in Glasgow were serotyped between January 1990 and December 1992. The results were then correlated with sexual orientation of patients, penicillin sensitivity, site of infection, location of acquisition of infection and presence of symptoms. Six hundred and four episodes of gonococcal infection were analysed and an association between certain serovars with sexual orientation, penicillin sensitivity and asymptomatic infection was found. No association between serovar type and locality of acquisition of infection was apparent. Although there was a decreasing trend in the incidence of gonorrhoea overall, infections in homosexual men increased over the three-year study period. The associations between serovars and other features of gonococcal infection are discussed. The observed increase in homosexually-acquired infection has implications with regard to the spread of human immunodeficiency virus infection in this area, and suggests that attempts to promote safer sex in this group are failing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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