The continuing pandemic of gonococcal infections in the United States and elsewhere, combined with the increasing frequency of oral-genital sexual activity, necessitates an awareness on the part of clinicians that pharyngeal infections caused by gonococci are no longer unusual occurrences. Tice and Rodriguez report their experiences with gonococcal pharyngitis caused by penicillin-resistant gonococci in this issue (p 2717). Their observations are of significance for several reasons.
The first is that penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae (PPNG) appear to be equally well adapted to the pharynx and the urethra. The prevalence data of Tice and Rodriguez indicate that the increase in resistant strains in the Far East, from less than 1% in 1973 to 35% to 50% in 1980, is reflected in pharyngeal as well as genital infection. Their observations show that the various modes of transmission of gonococci from one partner to the other are no different with penicillin-resistant strains than with
Harrison WO. Pharyngeal Gonorrhea. JAMA. 1981;246(23):2726-2727. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320230050026