Comparison of virulence markers of peritoneal and fallopian tube isolates with endocervical Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates from women with acute salpingitis

D. L. Draper, J. F. James, G. F. Brooks, Richard L Sweet

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Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains which cause acute salpingitis are presumed to ascend the genital tract from the cervix. Previous studies utilized isolates obtained from endocervical canal cultures, although it was not known if the isolates truly represented the organisms present in the fallopian tubes. In this study, we compared N. gonorrhoeae isolates from endocervical canal cultures with fallopian tube or peritoneal cul-de-sac isolates or isolates from both sites obtained at laparoscopy. Potential virulence markers were studied, including colony phenotype, auxotype, antimicrobial agent susceptibility, protein patterns on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and susceptibility to normal human serum. Six of seven cervical isolates had the same antibiograms and molecular weight for major outer membrane proteins as those of the corresponding peritoneal isolates. Auxotypes also were the same and included prototrophic, proline-requiring, and proline-and-arginine-requiring isolates. The isolates as a group appeared to be very susceptible to the bactericidal action of pooled serum from normal women. Colony phenotypes varied between sites; the fallopian tube-cul-de-sac isolates were predominantly of transparent phenotype and piliated. The cervical isolates were either mixtures of equal quantities of opaque and transparent phenotypes or predominantly opaque phenotype. By these markers, patients' N. gonorrhoeae cervical isolates appeared to be the same as their isolates from fallopian tubes except for a difference or shift in colony phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-888
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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