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Clinical Manifestations of Disseminated Infection Caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae Are Linked to Differences in Bactericidal Reactivity of Infecting Strains

PETER A. RICE, M.D.; and DON L. GOLDENBERG, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: by grants AI 15633 and Biomedicine Research Support Grant RRO 5569 from the National Institutes of Health.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Peter A. Rice, M.D.; The Maxwell Finland Laboratory for Infectious Diseases, 774 Albany Street; Boston, MA 02118.


Boston, Massachusetts


© 1981 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(2):175-178. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-95-2-175
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Twenty-nine patients with disseminated gonococcal infection were classified into two clinical groups at the time of hospitalization: 13 with suppurative arthritis and 16 with only tenosynovitis, dermatitis, or both. Patients with suppurative arthritis had significantly less tenosynovitis and dermatitis (p < 0.02). Strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated from the two groups of patients were each repetitively tested in a bactericidal assay using fresh frozen sera obtained from 10 normal human volunteers. Although strains causing disseminated gonococcal infection in general are serum resistant, those isolated from patients with suppurative arthritis were significantly less resistant (p < 0.01) than those isolated from patients with only tenosynovitis and dermatitis. Differences in strains as reflected by variation in resistance to normal human sera may cause these strains to produce diverse clinical manifestations.

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