OBJECTIVE--To determine whether the host immune response to gonorrhoea provides limited serovar specific protection from reinfection. SUBJECTS--508 episodes of gonorrhoea diagnosed at a city centre genitourinary medicine clinic including 22 patients with multiple infections over a 4 year period. METHODS--Patients with recurrent gonococcal infection were analysed with respect to the initial and subsequent serovars isolated. RESULTS--No significant difference was seen in the prevalence of serovars isolated following a repeat infection compared with those without repeat infections. The site of the initial infection did not appear to influence the subsequent serovar isolated. CONCLUSION--We found no evidence of serovar specific immunity in our population. It remains possible that populations with a higher prevalence of gonorrhoea and more frequent infections may have a quantitatively greater immune response.
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