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Whistlestop tour
  1. Jackie A Cassell, Editor

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Every autumn STI publishes a double issue, and we are delighted that this month's journal is accompanied by a special issue focussing on gonorrhoea. Few of you will be unaware of recent headlines in the medical and lay press, emphasising our vulnerability to a new post-antibiotic era. Cathy Ison and Gwenda Hughes have done a magnificent job as Guest Editors in pulling together an issue with clinical, microbiological and epidemiological material for all our readers.

The gonococcus has always been recognised as a slippery microparasite, exquisitely vulnerable to evolutionary pressures. However, it is salutary to be reminded that apparently more stable organisms can also evolve means of camouflage. Jurstrand et al (see page 337) describe an analysis of PCR and culture positive chlamydia tests in the period leading up to the identification of new variant Chlamydia trachomatis. They demonstrate that the new variant was present at detectable levels four years before its identification in 2006. In an age of increasing dependence on nucleic acid amplification tests, …

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