Research Article

Penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Great Britain, 1977-81: alarming increase in incidence and recent development of endemic transmission.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 31 July 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:337
  1. J A McCutchan,
  2. M W Adler,
  3. J R Berrie


    Since penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae appeared five years ago in West Africa and South-east Asia reported cases have doubled annually in Great Britain, primarily as a result of increasing importation. Importation of penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae has increased exponentially because dramatic expansion of these strains in their regions of origin has led to increasing infection of male air travellers. From 1977 to 1980 infections acquired in Great Britain played only a minor part in the exponential increase. During 1981 the number of indigenous cases increased much more rapidly than imported cases, indicating that these strains have become truly endemic in Great Britain. Currently, identification of patients at high risk and initial treatment with penicillinase-resistant antibiotics offers the best hope of containing the strains. The emergence and rapid spread of penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae shows the international consequences of the abuse of antibiotics.