Letter | Published:

Conjugal transfer of R plasmids in Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Naturevolume 266pages630631 (1977) | Download Citation


  • A Correction to this article was published on 21 April 1977


THE appearance of penicillin-resistant, β-lactamase-producing strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae has been the cause of considerable concern1. We have recently shown that β-lactamase production by these gonococci is plasmid mediated2. Two distinct R plasmids have been characterised; one, with mass 4.4 × 106 was common in gonococci isolated from military personnel in the Far East and their sexual contacts. The other plasmid with mass 3.2 × 106 was found in a strain isolated from a woman in London3 and we have also found this plasmid species in clinical isolates from Liverpool4. DNA–DNA duplex studies have revealed that both gonococcal R plasmids posses a significant portion (about 40 %) of the transposable sequence, TnA, which includes the β-lactamase gene commonly found on R plasmids of the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Haemophilus influenzae2.

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  1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, 98195



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