The first outbreak of penicillinase producing strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (PPNG) in Amsterdam in 1981-2 was caused mainly by African strains carrying the 24 megadalton transfer plasmid (Afr+) that were non-requiring (NR) and inhibited by phenylalanine (pheni), but African strains without the transfer plasmid (Afr-) that were NRpheni and Afr+ NR strains were also found. Serological classification, using two monoclonal antibody systems, showed that three main serovars (Ae/Av, Aedih/Arst, and Bacejk/Brpyust) could be distinguished in these PPNG strains, which indicated exchanges of plasmids in these serovars. The serovar Ae/Av predominated in the Afr+ and Bacejk/Brpyust in the Afr- strains.
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