Of 1400 patients in Jamaica screened for uncomplicated gonorrhoea, 54% (753 patients) were culture positive. Of the 459 patients who complied with the terms of the study, 97% (211/218) of those treated with aqueous procaine penicillin G were cured compared with 94% (227/241) of those treated with ampicillin. Penicillinase producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae (PPNG) strains were identified for the first time during the study, and 10 patients infected with PPNG strains (two treated with penicillin, eight with ampicillin) contributed to the 21 treatment failures. The in vitro susceptibility of eight antimicrobial agents for 629 non-PPNG and 20 PPNG strains was estimated. Of the non-PPNG isolates, 8% had an MIC of 1 mg/l or more of penicillin, 11% were resistant to this concentration of ampicillin, 32% to tetracycline, and under 1% to the same concentration of cefuroxime and erythromycin. Fewer than 2% of the isolates were resistant to 2 mg/l or more thiamphenicol, and all isolates were susceptible to spectinomycin and trimethoprimsulphamethoxazole (at a ratio of 1:19). Significantly more strains from the 21 treatment failures were resistant to penicillin (52%) or ampicillin (62%) compared with 7% strains resistant to penicillin and 4% to ampicillin from the successfully treated group.
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