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March 8, 2000

Susceptibility to Gonococcal Infection During the Menstrual Cycle

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(10):1291-1292. doi:10.1001/jama.283.10.1287

To the Editor:Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a common etiologic agent of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).1 The development of PID is likely determined by both host susceptibility and the virulence of the organism, and there is clinical evidence that changes in host susceptibility are influenced by hormonal status. For instance, the incidence of gonococcal PID symptoms is highest during the early proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle, and PID is less prevalent among women who use oral contraceptives.1-4 Furthermore, men rarely develop ascending gonococcal infections. Since complement activity is an important defense against PID,5 we wanted to determine if complement activity is cyclic and thus correlated with resistance to gonococcal infection.