In tests with the phagocytes of human buffy coat, a recent isolate of , which was pilated, formed small colonies and resembled the virulent Kellogg type 2 (strain BS), resisted ingestion more than did another isolate (strain AL), which was non-pilated, formed large colonies and resembled the avirulent Kellogg type 4. Some members of both strains survived for significant periods within the phagocytes in test conditions that tended to minimise rather than maximise such survival; and strain BS had a greater capacity for intracellular survival than strain AL, with some of its members surviving for at least 8 h.

Resistance to phagocytic ingestion is one important invasive mechanism of gonococci, and resistance to phagocytic digestion may also play a role in pathogenicity.


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