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July 23, 1982

Pharyngeal Gonorrhea

JAMA. 1982;248(4):427-428. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330040021017

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To the Editor.—  Examples of economic determinism in medical practice seem to be reflected in a recent issue of The Journal in an article by Tice and Rodriguez (1981;246:2717) and in an accompanying editorial by Harrison (1981;246:2726) on the subject of pharyngeal gonorrhea. Is it possible that the findings of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in a pharyngeal culture may not represent disease or the need for epidemiologic control measures advocated by those authors?Pharyngeal cultures to identify N gonorrhoeae cost considerably more than comparable cultures from other sites. There is much more frequent need to differentiate by use of special bacteriologic techniques the gonococcus from other Neisseria species that are commonly found in specimens taken from the throat, such as Neisseria meningitidis, than is the case of specimens taken from the cervix, urethra, or rectum. Under the circumstances, health care providers with limited funding may need at least beginning answers to the