Six components used in vaginal tampons were tested for their effects on a strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated from a patient with disseminated infection. Tampon components containing carboxymethyl cellulose or its derivative prolonged the in-vitro survival of gonococci and, when injected with mucin into mice, significantly (P less than 0.0001) increased the dissemination of gonococci from the peritoneal cavity. In contrast, a component extracted from rayon tampons reduced in-vitro survival and appeared to suppress gonococcal dissemination in mice. Since tampons are used by a large number of women at a time when the risk of developing complications from venereal infections are increased, their effects on potential urogenital pathogens warrant further study.
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