One hundred and thirty eight penicillinase producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae (PPNG) and 239 non-PPNG strains were characterised serologically using a panel of seven monoclonal antibodies directed against protein 1A and seven against protein 1B. An association between serovar and susceptibility to antimicrobial agents, auxotype, and plasmid content was observed. Serogroup WI strains were more sensitive to penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin, cefoxitin, and cefuroxime. Sixty five (82%) of the 79 WI strains were typed as being serovar Aedgkih, and 47 (72%) of these strains required arginine, uracil, and hypoxanthine for growth (AUH-). Seventy one (44%) of 160 WII/WIII strains were serovar Bacejk, and 42 (59%) of these required proline, citrulline, and uracil for growth (PCU-) and were plasmid free. Serovars Bcgk, Beghjk, Bacjk, and Bajk were associated with resistance to antimicrobial agents. Analysis of PPNG isolates showed a new serovar, Af, which was associated with strains imported from Malaysia and Singapore that required proline and ornithine for growth (Pro-Orn-) and carried the 24.5 megadalton transfer plasmid, the 2.6 megadalton cryptic plasmid, and the 4.5 megadalton penicillinase producing plasmid. Other associations between serovar and geographical location were noted.
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