A total of 40 Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates, representing 19 penicillin-resistant isolates (from 8 heterosexual patients and 11 homosexual patients) and 21 penicillin-susceptible isolates (from 15 heterosexual patients and 6 homosexual patients) and obtained from the same geographic area, were examined. Lectin agglutination patterns were based on the reactivity of the isolates with the following 14 lectins: concanavalin A, Lens culinaris, Trichosanthes kinlowii, Griffonia simplicifolia I, Arachis hypogeae (peanut agglutinin), Glycine max (soybean agglutinin), Dolichos bifloris, Griffonia simplicifolia II, Solanum tuberosum (potato starch agglutinin), Triticum vulgaris (wheat germ agglutinin), Limax flavus, Phaseolus vulgaris, Ulex europaeus I, and Lotus tetragonolobus. All isolates were serotyped with monoclonal antibodies specific for gonococcal outer membrane protein I and auxotyped, and the plasmid content was determined. Resistant patient isolates were selected for their decreased penicillin susceptibility, and control isolates were selected for their penicillin susceptibility. Even though the patient isolates demonstrated resistance to penicillin, no phenotypic differences in lectin-grouping patterns were demonstrated between the two study groups; i.e., two predominant lectin groups were observed. No resistance-associated plasmids were detected. All patient isolates were serogroup IB (serovars IB-1, IB-2, and IB-4), whereas 12 of 21 control isolates were serogroup IA (P less than 0.05). Isolates obtained from different anatomical sites in the same patient (cervical and rectal) agreed with regard to lectin patterns and serovars but not auxotypes.